RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Health is reporting the first COVID-19 death of a child in the Commonwealth.
The teen was a resident in the Southside Health District, the health department announced Friday afternoon.
“We were extremely saddened to learn of the loss of the state’s first adolescent with COVID-19. On behalf of all of us at VDH, I extend sincere condolences to the teenager’s family and loved ones,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver. “No age group is immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this unfortunate event, along with the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases we are seeing in some areas of the Commonwealth, is a reminder that we all need to do our part to help slow the spread of virus in the community.”
The department says they will not disclose any further information about the teen to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family.
The Southside Health District serves Halifax, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties.
Until now, nobody younger than 30 had been among the nearly 3,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in Virginia since the pandemic reached the commonwealth six months ago.
Nearly 90 percent of coronavirus deaths in Virginia have been those age 60 or older.
Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.