A child from Fairfax County has died of covid-19, Northern Virginia’s first reported death of a minor from the virus since the pandemic started 17 months ago, public health officials said Thursday evening.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of a child in our district due to COVID-19. On behalf of the Fairfax County Health Department, I share our condolences to the child’s family,” Fairfax County Health Director Gloria Addo-Ayensu said in a statement.
“The loss of a child is heartbreaking,” she said. “We must continue to do all that we can to protect vulnerable members of our community such as those who are still too young to be vaccinated. Everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated is strongly encouraged to do so.”
Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are steeply rising in the Washington region, driven largely by the highly contagious delta variant.
Virginia public health officials did not say which strain the child had, but state Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said that the delta variant spreads more easily and is the predominant strain across the country and in Virginia.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this child for their tragic loss,” he said in a statement.
Since the start of the pandemic, 11,730 Virginians have died of covid-19, The Washington Post’s tracker shows.