Child under 5 dies from complications related to COVID-19 in Orange County, health officials say

Health officials in Orange County confirmed the second COVID-related infant death on Friday.

The child, who was less than 5 years old, had underlying health problems and died last month from complications related to COVID-19, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

“My heart goes out to this family who lost a precious young life. This is an urgent reminder that we must do everything we can to protect our little ones, the children and infants in our community who are not yet eligible for vaccination. protect.” County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau said in a press release.

Additional details about the child, such as gender and exact age, were not immediately released.

This is Orange County’s second pediatric COVID death. The first juvenile COVID fatality occurred in August 2020, and that teenage girl had significant underlying medical conditions.

Last month, a child under 12 with underlying health conditions was reported among the COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County.

“At least this reminds us of how this disease can affect anyone at any age,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the county’s deputy health officer.

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Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to draft a temporary emergency standard that would require companies to ensure workers are vaccinated.

“The president covers more than 100 million workers with vaccination requirements — 100 million workers, that’s two-thirds of our employees in America,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID coordinator.

There is resistance to the plan. An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that nine in 10 unvaccinated adults oppose employer-led vaccine mandates in the workplace. And of the unvaccinated workers, less than two in ten say they will comply.

“We need to help people gain confidence that vaccination is the right choice for them and their families,” said US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

This is because there is a record number of COVID infections among children. The president visited a school this morning with the secretary of education.

“The safest thing you can do for your child aged 12 and older is get them vaccinated,” Biden said.

MORE | Biden Announces New COVID Vaccine Mandates for 100 Million Americans

On Thursday, LAUSD became the largest district to mandate vaccines for students aged 12 and older.

“We must do everything we can to protect our children and keep them safe in school for personal learning,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The Los Angeles County says it has re-examined older COVID cases and found evidence that the mu variant appeared over the summer. The good news is that the overall numbers are improving and the number of cases is falling.

“With our seven-day cumulative case count now 104 new cases per 100,000 population, this number represents a welcome drop of 35% from last week. This is the third week in a row that we’ve seen a drop in our number of cases,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the LA County Public Health Department.

Officials say that while they are seeing more breakthrough cases, it is still a very small number. More than 90% of people hospitalized with COVID are not vaccinated.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the child’s death was the first COVID-related infant death in Orange County. It is the second, but the youngest.

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