RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia health officials announced on Thursday that a child in central Virginia died from complications of a chronic health condition and the coronavirus, marking the Commonwealth’s first reported death in a child under the age of 10 with COVID-19.
“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of this child,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “While fewer cases of COVID-19 are reported in children compared with adults, children are not immune to the disease. Across the country, there have been more than 80 COVID-19 deaths among children under 5 years old and more than 180 COVID-19 deaths among children 5 to 17 years old. At a time when vaccination efforts give us reason to be hopeful, we cannot let down our guard. Please continue to do the things we know protect others because they reduce virus spread – get vaccinated when it’s your turn, wear a face mask, stay 6 feet away from others when outside the home, avoid large crowds, and wash your hands often.”
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will not disclose additional information about the child for the sake of privacy and respect for the patient’s family.
However, health officials say this death will be reflected on the VDH COVID-19 dashboard on Friday, March 5.
In order to lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections — such as the coronavirus — the department encourages everyone to continue practicing health and safety precautions, such as wearing face coverings, following social distancing, getting a vaccine when it becomes available to you, etc.