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‘It’s sad news’: Teenage patient dies from COVID-19 at Montreal hospital

A nurse slips on protective gloves at a drive-through clinic at Ste-Justine Children Hospital in Montreal, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A 16-year-old patient has died from COVID-19 at a Montreal hospital in what is believed to be the youngest pandemic-related death in the province.

Ste-Justine Hospital, which treats children and teenagers, confirmed the death Wednesday in a statement, but did not specify when it occurred.

A spokesperson said the hospital could not provide more details and the law prohibits it from “giving out any information that could lead to the identification of a person or concerning a person’s medical file.”

“In general, people who die at a young age from COVID-19 are generally people who had significant co-morbidities,” the spokesperson said.

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Dr. Mylène Drouin, director of Montreal public health, also said that she could not comment directly on the case but she offered her condolences to the teen’s loved ones.

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“It’s sad news and I want to offer my sympathies to the family,” she said.

Drouin also stressed that public health measures in schools — such as mandatory masks, physical distancing and aggressive screening for variants — are helping to mitigate the impact of the virus on children.

“I would say to parents that schools are secure,” she said.

The majority of Quebec’s pandemic-related 10,709 deaths have been among the elderly. The latest data shows that fatalities attributed to COVID-19 among those 70 and older account for more than 90 per cent of the death toll.

Last August, a 19-year-old man died from complications connected to the novel coronavirus, and at the time his was the youngest death from the disease in the province.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Quebec’s health ministry said she could not provide information about the teenager’s death. She also did not confirm if the patient was the youngest Quebecer to have died from COVID.

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones,” Noémie Vanheuverzwijn said.

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With files from the Canadian Press

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