California Reports First Teen Death From Coronavirus

FRESNO (CBS SF) — The California Department of Public Health reported Friday that a teenager in the Central Valley died due to complications from COVID-19, which is the first death in the state of a resident in the 12-17 age group.

State officials say the teen, who has not been identified, died in Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno and had underlying health issues. The hospital confirmed the death in a statement released to media outlets Friday.

“The death of this patient reaffirms that children—and no age group—are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read. “It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease. Our children deserve no less.”

The hospital did not release further information on the victim. 

The death comes as coronavirus cases in the Central Valley continue to surge. The area’s population contains a disproportionate share of California’s working class, whose jobs at farms and factories make social-distancing difficult. The dramatic increase in cases since the reopening in June pushed the state to act — Gov. Gavin Newsom recently directed $52 million in funds to hopefully stop the spread of the disease there.

While state health officials acknowledge the tragedy, they note there have not been any other youth deaths from the virus in the state. 

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a statement. 

For more data on COVID-19 cases in California, visit the California Department of Public Health website.