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Virginia child dies from COVID-19; 'Pandemic is far from over,' health director warns

Health director: Death is 'stark reminder that our work is not done'
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Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 12:32:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The first child in Virginia's Eastern Region has died from complications from COVID-19, health officials announced Thursday.

Virginia Department of Health (VDH) officials they would not provide any additional information in order to protect the privacy of the family, but did say the child was between 10 and 19 years old.

The child lived in Virginia's Eastern Region, which includes the cities of Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg as well as the counties of Accomack, Isle of Wight, James City, Northampton, Southampton and York.

Officials offered condolences to the child's family and friends "at this time of great loss.”

"COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives from us, and every death is a tragedy," Virginia Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said. "The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. As we have seen in recent weeks, a COVID variant, the Delta variant, spreads more easily from one person to another. We have made progress in these past months against this virus, but a tragic event like the death of this young child is a stark reminder that our work is not done."

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The first child under the age of 10 from the Central Virginia Region died from complications from COVID-19 in March of 2021. A second child under 10, who lived in the Rappahannock Area Health District, passed away in July of 2021.

A teenager, who lived in the Southside Health District, died of COVID-19 in September of 2020, according to the health department. The Southside Health District serves Halifax, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties.

A second death among 10-19 year olds was reported in the Rappahannock/Rapidan Health District, which includes Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties.

As of Thursday, more than 11,546 Virginians had died as a result of COVID-19. That includes:

  • 2 -- Ages 0-9
  • 6 -- Ages 10-19
  • 32 -- Ages 20-29
  • 100 -- Ages 30-39
  • 268 -- Ages 40-49
  • 854 -- Ages 50-59
  • 1,913 -- Ages 60-69
  • 2,989 -- Ages 70-79
  • 5,370 -- Ages 80+

Nearly 90 percent of the state's coronavirus deaths have been those age 60 or older.

Health officials continue to urge folks take the following precautions to "lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections," which includes COVID-19:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to locate a free vaccine near you.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public settings, even if you are fully vaccinated. Virginia is currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 spread.
  • Practice physical distancing. Maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others.
  • Avoid large gatherings, crowds, and indoor spaces with poor ventilation (airflow).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in public spaces; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, get tested.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.