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VDH reports 2 children in Central Virginia die of COVID-19

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed the deaths of two children in Central Virginia due to COVID-19.

One of the deaths was in the Chesterfield Health District and the other was in the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts.

The child who died in the Chesterfield Health District was between 10 and 19 years old.

“We are saddened that COVID-19 is affecting those so young, and on behalf of the Chesterfield Health District, we extend our sincerest condolences to the family,” said Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel. “Sadly, this tragic event highlights that COVID-19 is circulating within our communities and we all have a responsibility to continue to do all that we can to prevent the spread of this virus. This includes getting the COVID-19 vaccine and taking all prevention measures, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds.”

The Chesterfield Health District death is already reflected on the state’s health data.

Health officials said the child who died in the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts was between the ages 0 and 9.

“Our hearts are heavy as we share this tragic and devastating news,” says Dr. Melissa Viray, Deputy Director of RHHD. “We send our condolences to the family and are thinking of them in this incredibly difficult time.”

The Richmond-Henrico Health Districts’ death will be reflected on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard on Friday.

Health officials said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be the best way to protect the most vulnerable, including children too young to get vaccinated.

The RHHD recommends the following:

  • Children 12 and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Everyone who spends time with children under the age of 12 should be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Children should wear masks while indoors with individuals who are not a part of their household and should practice social distancing
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should follow self-isolation guidelines to avoid passing COVID-19 to children

As of Thursday, the latest numbers from the VDH show there are about 119,000 COVID-19 cases among people under the age of 19. The state is also seeing another spike in cases with more than 2,700 new COVID cases overnight. Hospitalizations have also climbed to nearly 1,300. The positivity rate has risen to 8.8%

The number of fully protected adults has not been seeing the same increases. The number of adults fully vaccinated remains at 55.3%.

With cases surging and vaccinations only now creeping past 55 percent, health experts from VCU are urging those who can get vaccinated to do so immediately.

“Polio and smallpox don’t exist anymore because everyone has been vaccinated,” said Dr. John McCarthy with VCU health. “We should strive to do the same with COVID-19, and the only way we’re going to do that is if virtually no one is susceptible to it. Why give it a place to live?”

VDH said the child who died in the Richmond-Henrico Health District was the 10th in the state and second in the district.

For more information on preventing COVID-19, visit rchd.com or call 804-205-3501.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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