Wednesday, 01 April 2020 15:24

Richmond Senior grad, Montgomery County deputy succumbs to COVID-19

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Montgomery County Deputy "Bud" Phouangphrachanh, a 1994 graduate of Richmond Senior High School, seen here being honored for completed DARE training, died Tuesday night after battling with COVID-19. Montgomery County Deputy "Bud" Phouangphrachanh, a 1994 graduate of Richmond Senior High School, seen here being honored for completed DARE training, died Tuesday night after battling with COVID-19. Courtesy: Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins

ROCKINGHAM — While Richmond County has yet to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the virus has claimed the life of a Richmond Senior graduate.

Sypraseuth “Bud” Phouangphrachanh, 43, of Candor, passed away Tuesday night at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst after battling the coronavirus, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins.

“After suffering from allergy symptoms, he sought outpatient care and was later tested for coronavirus and began in-home isolation,” Watkins said.

The sheriff added that Phouangphrachanh was admitted to the hospital on Monday.

Phouangphrachanh, a 1994 graduate of RSHS, was a 14-year veteran of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and previously worked for the Candor Police Department, Watkins said.

He was affectionately known as “Deputy Bud” by co-workers and the community.

“During his service to Montgomery County he filled many roles, but his passion was as a school resource officer where he worked with middle school and high school students,” Watkins said. “His dedication to youth led him to attend DARE Instructor training, which he loved and believed in as a tool to better his community.

“He was known for his big smile, sense of humor and laughter,” the sheriff added. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, as well as the families of all those throughout this world who have endured the loss of loved ones during this crisis.

Phouangphrachanh leaves behind a wife, five children and other family members, in addition to his “family of co-workers, especially his brothers and sisters who wear a badge, stand tall, but never too tall to bend down and whisper a comforting word to a kid, as he did so well.”

Many of Phouangphrachanh’s classmates offered condolences on social media late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

His death was not indicated on the updated map from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, but could be included in the statewide death toll of 10, as those figures were updated at 1:10 p.m.

Richmond County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Tommy Jarrell said 89% of those deaths have been males and nearly half of all cases across the state are individuals between the ages of 23 and 49.

Out of 26,243 North Carolinans tested for COVID-19, 1,584 of their results have been positive. Around 200 are currently hospitalized.

In Richmond County, Jarrell said 201 individuals have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 136 test results have been returned and all results received have been negative. 

Jarrell also reiterated that there is no curfew in this county and no one needs documentation to travel. He also strongly encourages residents to practice social distancing and to adhere to Gov. Roy Cooper’s mandate of no gatherings of more than 10 people.

In Scotland County, officials have closed the courthouse until further notice due to coronavirus exposure, WPDE reports.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2020 15:27

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