RICHMOND, Va. — On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Health reported that the first child under the age of 10 died from COVID-19 in the Central Virginia region.
Officials said the child, whose details will be kept private out of respect for his or her family, died from complications of a chronic health condition and the virus.
The Central Virginia region consists of Chickahominy, Chesterfield, Crater, Henrico, Piedmont, Richmond and Southside health districts.
State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said VDH sent its condolences to the family and friends of the child.
"While fewer cases of COVID-19 are reported in children compared with adults, children are not immune to the disease. Across the country, there have been more than 80 COVID-19 deaths among children under 5 years old and more than 180 COVID-19 deaths among children 5 to 17 years old," he said in a news release.
"At a time when vaccination efforts give us reason to be hopeful, we cannot let down our guard. Please continue to do the things we know protect others because they reduce virus spread - get vaccinated when it's your turn, wear a face mask, stay 6 feet away from others when outside the home, avoid large crowds, and wash your hands often."
The health department did not say when the child died. The death will be reported in Friday's COVID-19 case update.