A child age 9 or under from Virginia’s central region has died of COVID-19, marking the state’s first fatality of a child under age 10 from the disease.
The Virginia Department of Health announced the fatality Thursday. The child's age was not provided. The VDH attributed the death to “complications of a chronic health condition and COVID-19."
“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of this child,” Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver said in a news release.
“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,” Oliver said in the release.
Virginia lost its first teenager under the age of 18 to COVID-19 in September. A second death of a person age 19 or under was reported in February, but that person was not a minor, according to a VDH spokeswoman.
Virginia has so far lost 17 residents in their 20s to COVID-19, including one in the Prince William Health District.
Oliver reminded Virginians to remain vigilant in their efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
“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,” Oliver said in the statement.