RICHMOND, Va. -- Two children in Central Virginia have died from COVID-19, according to the Chesterfield Health District and the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.
A child in the 10 to 19 age group died from COVID-19, according to the Chesterfield Health District.
“We are saddened that COVID-19 is affecting those so young, and on behalf of the Chesterfield Health District, we extend our sincerest condolences to the family,” said Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel. “Sadly, this tragic event highlights that COVID-19 is circulating within our communities and we all have a responsibility to continue to do all that we can to prevent the spread of this virus. This includes getting the COVID-19 vaccine and taking all prevention measures, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds.”
To protect the privacy of the family, no additional details are being shared at this time.
A child under the age of 9 in the Richmond and Henrico area died of coronavirus as well, according to the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.
“Our hearts are heavy as we share this tragic and devastating news,” says Dr. Melissa Viray, Deputy Director of RHHD. “We send our condolences to the family and are thinking of them in this incredibly difficult time.”
This death is the second reported childhood death caused by COVID-19 in Richmond and Henrico and tenth in the state of Virginia.
"While childhood deaths from COVID-19 are rare, they are extremely tragic and heartbreaking. Children with some underlying illnesses tend to be at higher risk than children without. RHHD recommends everyone get vaccinated to protect themselves and others around them, particularly children too young to get vaccinated or individuals who are immunocompromised," Cat Long, RHHD's Public Information Officer, said in a statement.
Virginia reported its first child COVID-19 death on Sept. 18, 2020. The teenager lived in the Southside Health District, which serves Halifax, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties, according to the health department.
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 second death among 10-19 year olds was reported in the Rappahannock/Rapidan Health District, which includes Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties.
Earlier this month, 17-year-old Schwanda Corprew of Norfolk, died of complications from COVID-19.
"She was like, "Ma, I'm tired.' I said, 'Schwanda, if you're tired, go to sleep.' Usually, when someone says they're 'tired,' usually that means tired and they go to sleep," her mother, Sherell Corprew, said. "I left and went to go pick up my check. I left, and my baby was in the house dead."
As the delta variant continues to spread across the United States, children are filling hospitals at record numbers, according to the Associated Press. Many children are too young to get the vaccine which is available only to those who are 12 and older.
As of Thursday, 11,638 Virginians had died as a result of COVID-19. That includes:
- 2 -- Ages 0-9
- 7 -- Ages 10-19
- 32 -- Ages 20-29
- 101 -- Ages 30-39
- 273 -- Ages 40-49
- 868 -- Ages 50-59
- 1,930 -- Ages 60-69
- 3,019 -- Ages 70-79
- 5,394 -- Ages 80+
Nearly 89 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.