PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health has reported its first COVID-19 death involving a child under age 10.
In a press release, VDH said the child died of a chronic health condition and COVID-19, but wouldn’t share additional information for privacy reasons. They did say the child was from the Central Virginia area.
“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of this child,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver. “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.”
This is the first young child to die of COVID-19 in Virginia, but the third person age 19 or younger. VDH reported its first COVID-19 death in someone 19 or younger back in September. So far 9,357 Virginians have died from the disease, with most above the age of 50. 19 people ages 29 and younger have died.
Oliver said that despite lower case numbers and increasing vaccinations in the commonwealth, Virginians still can’t let their guard down.
“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.”
VDH says the child’s death will be reflected in their dashboard on Friday, March 5.