This teenager in Texas is the fourth person in his school district to die of COVID-19 after he lost a month-long battle with the virus.
George Moralez, 16, who came from the city of Waco in the south-eastern US state of Texas, is being mourned by the local community.
The Connally Independent School District is now also mourning its fourth death in recent weeks, with the district informing parents that the 16-year-old student had passed away after a month-long battle with COVID-19.
He was the son of Sabrina Moralez, who is a member of staff at the Connally Junior High School. She also has two other children who are students at the school.
The district’s letter also informed parents that Moralez passed away after battling the coronavirus for over a month, with his mother posting on Facebook that he died at 8.52pm on Wednesday in the presence of his friends and family.
His mother wrote: “I still can’t believe I won’t hear his voice, laugh, hug him, or see his smile.”
The young man was part of the Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and was also the manager of the football team.
Lt. Col. Ray Matherne, an instructor and leader of Connally’s Air Force JROTC programme, paid tribute to him in the Waco Tribune-Herald, saying: “Universally, he was a special kid.”
He added: “He is the one student, no matter how your day is going, no matter how tired you are, he would always put a smile on your face.”
The officer also said: “He was universally liked by all students and he never met a stranger. He would talk to anyone.”
He added: “He will be greatly missed.”
Moralez is the fourth person in the Connally Independent School District to die of COVID-19 since the virus began surging across Texas and the rest of the country late last summer.
It is currently unclear if he had been vaccinated against the virus, as the Waco Tribune-Herald reported that 85 percent of those in hospital for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.