A 7-year-old boy has become the youngest person known to die of COVID-19 in Georgia.
The child, who was a resident of Chatham County, had no known underlying health conditions, the state’s health department confirmed to CBS News on Friday.
“Every COVID-19 death we report is tragic, but to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking,” Nancy Nydam, Director of Communications for the Georgia Department of Public Health, told CBS News. “We know that older individuals and those with underlying conditions are at higher risk of complications, but this is a disease everyone, regardless of age, should take seriously.”
“Please watch out for each other, stay six feet apart, wear a mask in public, wash your hands often, and stay home if you’re sick,” Nydam added. “A community-wide crisis demands a community-wide response, and we all must do our part to keep each other safe.”
Georgia has faced major coronavirus spikes as Governor Brian Kemp clashes with local officials on safety guidelines. According to Johns Hopkins University, the state has 204,895 confirmed cases and 4,026 COVID-related deaths.
This week, a second-grader in the state tested positive for the virus after attending the first day of school in Cherokee County, forcing the child’s teacher and classmates to be sent home to quarantine for two weeks. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also documented the case of a summer camp in Georgia where more than 200 kids tested positive for the virus after a teenage staff member was diagnosed in June.
President Donald Trump faced criticism after falsely claiming that children are “almost immune” to the virus, as schools nationwide continue to grapple with when and how to reopen. The CDC reports at least 45 children age 14 and under have died from COVID-related causes since the pandemic began.
SOURCE: CBS News – Sophie Lewis