Minnesota reports 3rd child death from COVID-19

A child under 10 years old from southwestern Minnesota has died from COVID-19 complications, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Monday. It is believed to be the third pediatric death from COVID-19 in Minnesota. 

The child did not have any underlying health conditions, according to a statement from Gov. Tim Walz's office. 

Marshall Public Schools confirmed the child who died was a first-grade student at Park Side Elementary. According to the school district, the student died on Sunday. 

In a letter to parents regarding the student’s death, the school district encouraged parents to watch their students for any signs of COVID-19 and to bring them in to get tested immediately if they begin to show symptoms. 

The first child in Minnesota to die from COVID-19 was a 9-month-old infant in Clay County back in July. The second was a child in Chippewa County between the ages of 5 and 9 in February. 

COVID-related deaths in children are rare, but MDH said they can occur even in otherwise healthy children. 

The death comes as COVID-19 cases are up among children and younger adults in Minnesota. MDH officials said last week school-related cases of COVID-19 among students currently exceed the high level set in November during the fall surge. 

Since children under the age of 16 are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, MDH is encouraging those who can get vaccinated to do so in order to reduce the transmission of the virus and keep the children around them safe. Health officials are also recommending people continue to wear masks in public, social distance and get tested for COVID-19 regularly. 

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The death will be included in the state’s COVID-19 data later this week. 

A total of 7,079 people in Minnesota have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.