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Imperial County reports first pediatric death related to COVID-19

Health officials continue to urge the community to receive the COVID vaccine

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial County Public Health Department (ICPHD) says a child under nine years old has died from COVID-19 complications.

ICPHD said it first received the notice of the death of a child several weeks ago. However, health officials say investigations take time to complete as proper documents needed to be reviewed. The child was not found with any underlying health conditions.

"Unfortunately, we had to report a pediatric death earlier in the morning. And this death was in a child who is in the age group of zero to nine. It is devastating for our community. We still have to take all those preventative measures," says Imperial County Public Health Department Director Janette Angulo.

“It is heart-wrenching to lose a child under any circumstances. Our condolences go out to the family and to the many families that have suffered loss related to COVID-19,” stated Dr. Stephen Munday, Imperial County Health Officer. “Since children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the best approach we can take to protect the children in our community is to make sure those around them, who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated, and that we all continue to follow those measures that prevent transmission of the virus.”

An investigation was conducted to rule out any other possibilities.

"Late last week, we got final confirmation, information, documents-- that included that this death was due to COVID-19. So our first pediatric death reported in Imperial County, unfortunately," explains Angulo.

At this time, Imperial County remains in the orange tier based on the COVID metrics system still in place.

"We’re still seeing cases reported in all ages. Since the beginning, we’ve seen the highest number of cases in the 20 to 30 age group followed by the 30 to 39 age group," says Angulo.

They continue to urge the community to get vaccinated, especially now that anyone 12 years and older can get the vaccine. They say this will help protect those who are still not eligible to get inoculated.

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Sumiko Keil

Sumiko Keil has served as the Digital Content Producer since March 2019.

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

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