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St. Johns County high school junior dies of COVID-19 complications

The 17-year-old student at Pedro Menendez High School was described as gentle and funny

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A St. Johns County high school student has died of COVID-19, First Coast News confirmed with people familiar with the circumstances of his death.

Giona Stiles, 17, died Friday morning.

His principal at Pedro Menendez High School in St. Johns County sent a letter to parents Friday describing Giona as “a talented actor” who had “a wonderful sense of humor.” Giona was a high school junior.

There is no official word how he contracted the virus. 

School started in St. Johns County on August 16. Sources say Giona tested positive the following week, and the week after, he died.

Giona's family is in the grieving process and decided not to comment on his death.

First Coast News reached out to one of Giona's teachers who sent us the following statement:

“Giona was an amazing, talented actor. He was a student that came in and put a smile on my face every single day. He was a natural performer, he was a phenomenal singer. I never had a student that was more passionate about theater than Giona. He helped start the reinstated drama program at Pedro. My students and I loved him and will forever respect him for the talented performer that he was. I feel honored to have been his teacher and to have watched him grow as an actor.”

Last week, First Coast News learned of the deaths of two other juvenile COVID-19 patients, including a two-week-old infant.


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