New Orleans Bounce Deejay Dies at 44 After Contracting Coronavirus

Popular New Orleans bounce artist Go DJ Black N Mild died Thursday after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed with Billboard on Friday. He was 44.

The deejay, born Oliver Stokes Jr., was a major New Orleans radio personality and was the first deejay in the area to create a radio show dedicated to New Orleans Bounce, Billboard reported according to Stokes’ social media.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Stokes worked in Houston where he hosted a mix show, Rhythm and Bounce, which was played on a New Orleans AM station on Saturday nights.

Outside of his music, Stokes also was a father of four and worked at the Arthur Ashe Charter School in the Gentilly neighborhood.

According to The Times-Picayune, Stokes left school on March 9 with a fever, and later documented his health journey on his Facebook page.

On the same day, Stokes checked into the Ochsner Urgent Care in Lakeview with a 102.4 fever, he shared on his social media.

On March 10, he shared that he hadn’t “had the flu in years,” adding an emoji wearing a surgical mask.

The following day, he shared on Facebook that he had moved to the University Medical Center in New Orleans, where he was tested to have “pneumonia not the flu.”

“Our school community is devastated,” Sabina Pence, the CEO of the FirstLine Schools, which runs Arthur Ashe, told The Times-Picayune.

As of March 21, there have been 17,962 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 239 deaths in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

Epidemiologists have said Americans need to start practicing “social distancing” — staying inside as much as possible and keeping about 6 feet of distance from people — to limit the chance of asymptomatic people spreading the coronavirus further.

The CDC also recommends that the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful handwashing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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