Longtime UMD Dining Services employee dies of coronavirus

A University of Maryland Dining Services manager died Thursday from complications due to COVID-19, university President Wallace Loh wrote in a campuswide email.

Luckmann Simon — who served the campus for nearly 30 years, including 13 as a manager — is the first university staff member to die from the virus. His loss was preceded by the death of David Driskell, a long-serving art professor at the university who retired in 1998. Driskell, who died on April 1, was the first campus community member to be killed by the virus.

Since it’s been more than 14 days since the last time Simon was on campus — on March 23 — health officials have informed the university that there is no risk of infection to anyone else who has been on campus, Loh wrote. When Simon was on the campus, Loh wrote, he did not have contact with or serve food to the few students who remain at the university.

In the email, Loh offered his condolences to Simon’s wife, Marie Lourdes, and to his family. He also urged the campus community to “hold fast together, and comfort one another” as COVID-19 continues to ravage the country.

“We are connected as fellow human beings,” he wrote. “No pathogen is going to make us strangers to each other. Together, we will make it through.”

There were 1,476 confirmed cases of the virus in Prince George’s County as of Thursday evening, according to the Maryland Department of Health. Thirty-five have died.

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