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In latest report, San Diego County counts its youngest and oldest victims of COVID-19

Ambulances parked outside Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego
Ambulances parked outside the emergency room at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego in December.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A 10-year-old boy who died on Jan. 23 is now San Diego County’s youngest victim of COVID-19, according to the county’s latest coronavirus tracking report released Friday.

In addition, the report showed a 106-year-old man has become the county’s oldest COVID-related death among the 2,777 announced in the county to date, officials said. Both were East County residents.

In both deaths, the patients also suffered from other health problems, according to the report. Of the 39 people overall who died of COVID-19, 37 had preexisting conditions, the report said.

It was not immediately clear why it took nearly two weeks for the 10-year-old’s death to be reported. Previously, county health officials have attributed reporting delays to bottlenecks in the processing of death certificates and inconsistent reporting by hospitals.

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The county released no specific details about the deaths.

Previously, the youngest person on the county’s COVID-19 death toll was a 19-year-old man who died on Jan. 3. The previous oldest COVID-19 casualty was a 104-year-old woman who died on Jan. 1, according to county records.

Generally, death from COVID-19 is very uncommon among those under 18. According to provisional counts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 67 children age 5 through 14 have died after a confirmed coronavirus infection among more that 421,000 COVID-related deaths nationwide, though the true figure is likely higher because of reporting delays.

After a surge in deaths in December and January, the local number of coronavirus cases appears to be leveling off, falling far below the 4,000-plus new cases a day seen several times after the holidays.

Friday’s report, however, showed a slight uptick. After two days under 1,000, the daily case total was 1,453 Thursday following by Wednesday’s tally of 1,598.

Total COVID-related hospitalizations continued to fall, reaching 1,183 with 353 in intensive care beds.


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