Waterloo Region has recorded its first death of a young child due to COVID-19.
“Today I am very sad to report the death of a child under the age of 10 due to COVID-19. The child had underlying health conditions,” said medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang Friday during the region’s weekly pandemic briefing.
“It is a devastating reminder of the serious nature of this virus – this is a heartbreaking loss, and I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones. It is the first COVID-related death in the age group that we have experienced in the Waterloo Region.”
Due to the child’s age, they were unable to get vaccinated.
“I can confirm there were no school-related or childcare-related exposures at all. I’m really asking our community to do what they can to protect one another and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated if you are eligible,” she added.
“This is a rare occurrence but it’s tragic nonetheless. It is a reminder how serious COVID-19 can be.
“I encourage parents to keep up with public health precautions. I understand that people are very tired of this and there was the hope that vaccines would allow us to go back to normal, but vaccines have prevented so many cases, so many serious outcomes,” said Wang.
Citing the desire to respect the family’s privacy, the public health department said it would not be releasing details about the child’s location, school or parents’ vaccination status.