O’FALLAN, Mo. (Gray News) - A Missouri eighth-grader died days after his COVID-19 diagnosis, the state’s first child under age 14 to die since the onset of the pandemic.
Washington School District Superintendent Lori VanLeer said in a statement that 13-year-old Peyton Baumgarth died from complications of the virus, according to his family. His death came less than two weeks after he last attended classes.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and ask that the public respects their privacy. His family deserves nothing less,” VanLeer said in the statement. “The family also asks that we all remember to wear masks, wash hands frequently and follow guidelines. COVID-19 is real and they want to remind students and parents to take these precautions in and outside of school.”
The National Center for Health Statistics report for Oct. 28 cited just 80 deaths nationwide among children ages 14 or younger.
Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask mandate.
Like many Midwestern states, it is seeing a big rise on COVID-19 cases, and many of the illnesses are severe enough to require hospitalization. The state health department on Monday cited 1,659 hospitalizations statewide, eclipsing by 10 the previous record set a day earlier. The state also cited 2,651 more confirmed cases and five additional deaths. All told, Missouri has reported 188,186 confirmed cases and 3,031 deaths from the virus.