RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Thursday that a child in the Central Virginia Region died from complications of a chronic health condition and COVID-19. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the first reported death in a child under 10 years old with COVID-19 in Virginia.
“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of this child,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “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. 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.”
This death will be reflected on the VDH COVID-19 data dashboard on Friday, March 5, 2021.
To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to:
- Wear a cloth face covering in public.
- Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; 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.
- Avoid large gatherings and contact with crowds.
- Get a flu shot.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.