California Officials Report First Virus Death of a Teen


FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – A teenager from the Central Valley is now the first teen to die from COVID-19 in the state of California.

On Friday, the California Department of Public Health reported that the teenager had underlying health conditions.

“It’s a huge trauma for everyone that’s involved, um, including the hospital workers,” said Fresno County Interim Health Director Dr. Rais Vohra, speaking on Zoom during his Friday COVID-19 update.

The teenager passed away at Valley Children’s Hospital.

This week, Valley Children’s CEO and President Todd Suntrapak spoke to KMJ’s Afternoon Drive about the risks from the virus in children.

“To assume that children cannot transmit the virus or that children don’t get the virus – which some have claimed, frankly is a disservice, not just to kids but to our community on the whole,” said Suntrapak.

Valley Children’s released a statement that 8,041 children had been tested through Monday, with a positive rate of 9.6%. COVID-19 positive cases included patients from ages of 3-weeks-old up to 17 years-old.

Due to patient confidentiality, CDPH will not provide any information about the teen’s death or what the underlying conditions were.

Heath officials said there have been no COVID-19 deaths reported yet in children of younger ages.

The Central Valley is now a hot spot for new coronavirus cases in California.

Over the past two weeks, all of the top five counties have reported the highest number of new cases per 100,000 residents, according to the Los Angeles Times’ coronavirus tracker.