Placer County reported Friday that, for the first time, a resident under the age of 18 has died from COVID-19. The youth had no underlying health conditions, officials said.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family for their loss,” said Rob Oldham. director of the county’s Health & Human Services Department. “Every life lost prematurely to COVID is tragic, and this is particularly heartbreaking.”
Spokeswoman Katie Combs-Prichard said the county would be sharing no further information on the case beyond what was in the news release or the county website. The dashboard of COVID-19 statistics at the website showed that one child between ages 5 and 17 had died. The release noted the death occurred earlier in the summer.
Placer County has reported more than 650 deaths from COVID-19 since March 2020, most of them among elderly adults. Vaccinations help to protect against the disease, and Oldham urged residents to remain up-to-date on the immunizations.
“It is important that residents stay up-to-date on COVID vaccinations,” said Oldham. “For the youngest children, that might mean completing their initial series. For older adults, that might mean a second booster. If you are eligible, do not wait to get your booster.”
You can find a location to get the vaccine by visiting myturn.ca.gov. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for a booster, use this web tool developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to determine eligibility.
California’s public health officials have stressed that the data show that rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are highest among unvaccinated residents and lowest among those who are boosted .
Statistics released Friday by the California Department of Health showed that a surge of cases this summer, driven by the omicron variant and its subvariants, has continued to decline.
The rate of cases dropped to 25.7 per 100,000 residents from 30.6 per 100,000 a week earlier, and there were 3,587 people hospitalized, down from 3,988.