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Orange County reports its first coronavirus-related death of a child

The coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, shown in purple, infects a cell, colored in green.
The coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, shown in purple, infects a cell, colored in green.
(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Orange County public health officials on Wednesday reported the county’s first death of a juvenile related to COVID-19.

The teenage girl had underlying medical conditions, the county’s health department said in a news release. Her exact age and identity were not released.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss of life and send our condolences to her friends and family during this very difficult time,” Clayton Chau, the county’s acting health officer, said in a statement.

The teen was the second Californian younger than 18 whose death was confirmed to be related to COVID-19. Last month, officials announced that a Central Valley teenager with underlying health conditions died from COVID-19 at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera.

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The latest maps and charts on the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County, including cases, deaths, closures and restrictions.

The deaths come amid a surge in coronavirus cases among children and teenagers in California. Cases among the demographic were up 150% last month, a rate that outpaces COVID-19 infections overall and establishes minors as a small but growing share of the state’s overall cases.

The increase also appears to outpace the number of coronavirus cases among children nationally, which grew 40% in the second half of July, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Assn.

Nationally, children with COVID-19 represented about 8.8% of all U.S. cases at the end of July, compared to 9% in California, the analysis found.

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In total, Orange County recorded 295 new cases of the virus and 18 deaths Wednesday, bringing its total to 44,507 cases and 833 fatalities.

There were 419 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, compared with 536 two weeks before, a decline of nearly 22%.

Times staff writer Laura Nelson contributed to this report.


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