VDH Reports Young Child’s Death Linked to COVID-19

By Brian Carlton

March 4, 2021

This is the first death of a child under 10 linked to the virus in Virginia.

RICHMOND-A young child in Virginia died due to COVID-19 this week. It marked the first time a death that young’s been linked to the pandemic in this state.

Virginia Health Department officials provided limited information Thursday, out of respect for the family. They said the child died from complications of a chronic health condition, combined with COVID-19. The death happened Thursday in the Central Virginia region. 

“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of this child,” said Virginia Health Commissioner 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, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show more than 80 COVID-19 related deaths for children under 5. For children 5 to 17, that number climbs to 180. On Thursday, Oliver urged people not to let their guard down, as the pandemic isn’t over yet. 

“Please continue to do the things we know protect others because they reduce virus spread,” Oliver said. “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.”

By the Numbers

As of Thursday, 9,357 had died from the virus over the last 12 months. The virus has been the most deadly in Fairfax County, with 985 deaths. The county also reported the most cases, at 67,192. 

This latest death comes as Virginia lifts some pandemic restrictions. As of March 1, any outdoor venue can have up to 1,000 people, or 30% capacity, whichever is less. That includes amusement parks like Busch Gardens, which wasted no time announcing their plans for a limited capacity St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Williamsburg-based operation will open the doors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through March 28. 

Other venues followed suit, but Oliver and other health officials caution people to be careful. If you’re out at any event, wear a mask. Also, still try to practice social distancing, staying six feet away from other groups. 

Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at [email protected].

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