A child under the age of 10, who the Waterloo Region Medical Officer of Health said had underlying health issues, has died from COVID-19.
Dr Hsiu-Li Wang confirmed the child’s death during the region’s weekly COVID-19 briefing on Friday morning.
“The child had underlying health issues,” Wang said. “There was no exposure related to school or childcare in this case. “
Wang said she was not aware of a younger death reported in Ontario to date, and said it was the first death in the under-10 age group in Waterloo region. . However, she did not provide further details on the age of the deceased child.
She said it was a “rare and tragic circumstance” which serves as a “devastating reminder of the severity of this virus”.
“This is a heartbreaking loss and I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to family and loved ones,” Wang added.
Premier Doug Ford tweeted about the death, saying it was “absolutely heartbreaking.”
“My prayers are with the family during this extremely difficult time,” his tweet said. “This virus knows no bounds. That’s why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated – to protect us, us, our loved ones and those who cannot yet get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Christine Elliott addressed the death at a press conference on Friday afternoon.
“I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Waterloo Region child who passed away from COVID-19,” she said. “This is a truly tragic situation and not only is it a heartbreaking loss to the community, it is also a devastating reminder of the dire consequences of COVID. My thoughts and prayers are with all friends and family at this time. “
Wang again called on residents to get vaccinated as soon as they can.
“The best way we have as a community to protect our children who are not yet vaccinated is to vaccinate everyone around them and to maintain these public health precautions,” she said.