A 10-year-old Latino boy from East County who died on Jan. 23 is now the region’s youngest COVID-19-related death, according to San Diego County’s latest coronavirus tracking report released Friday.
It was a day for grim records. In addition to the youngest, a 106-year-old man, also from East County, became the oldest local COVID-related death among the 2,777 announced to date.
Previously, the youngest to suffer such stark consequences after novel coronavirus infection was a 19-year-old man who died on Jan. 3. The previous-oldest COVID-19 casualty was a 104-year-old woman from the “north central” part of the county who died on Jan. 1, according to county records.
Both the oldest and youngest were said to have had other health problems present in addition to testing positive for the virus. Thirty-seven of the 39 deaths announced in Friday’s report had other health problems present.
It was not immediately clear why it took nearly two weeks for the 10-year-old boy’s death to be reported to the public. Generally, the county health department has said in the past, reporting delays can be caused by the time it takes to process death certificates or to a lag in a hospital reporting the loss to public health.
As is always the case, the county released no information on the specific circumstances — including what other illnesses were involved — in the losses. Such details are not connected to individual deaths for fear that doing so may make it easier to identify those who have died.
Generally, death has been very uncommon among those who are younger than age 18. According to provisional death counts listed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 67 children age five through 14 have died after a confirmed coronavirus infection among more that 421,000 COVID-related deaths nationwide. That figure is known to be incomplete given the sometimes weeks-long reporting delays.
While the community continues to record the deaths of those hospitalized during the patient surge in December and January, the local pandemic continues to run far below previous daily new case totals that topped 4,000 several times after the holidays.
Friday’s report, though, showed a slight uptick. After two days under 1,000, the daily case total was 1,453 Thursday following Wednesday’s tally of 1,598.
Total COVID-related hospitalizations continued to fall, reaching 1,183 with 353 in intensive care beds.