Waterloo Region’s top doctor says a child under the age of 10 is the latest person to die from COVID-19-related issues in the area.
“I’m very sad to report the death of a young child under the age of 10 due to COVID-19,” medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said Friday morning.
“This a rare occurrence but it is tragic nonetheless, and it is a reminder of how serious the effects of COVID-19 can be.”
The doctor said the child, who is the first in the under-10 age group in Waterloo Region to die, was in hospital at the time of death.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health told Global News there have been severalCOVID-19-related deaths involving children under the age of 10.
“Including today’s tragic death, there are three deaths under the age of 10 that are association with COVID-19,” Bill Campbell stated. “We send our deepest condolences to their families.”
She said the death was not a result of any exposure in a school or daycare setting.
“The child had underlying health conditions. There were no school-related or child care-related exposures,” Wang explained.
She went on to offer her condolences to the family while noting how severe the effects of COVID-19 can be.
“This is a rare but tragic circumstance and a devastating reminder of the serious nature of this virus,” she said.
“This is a heartbreaking loss, and I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones.”
Wang cited privacy concerns when asked to provide further details on the child’s death.
“Out of respect for the family and their privacy, we will not be sharing any further details but I can confirm this was a recent death and the child was a resident of Waterloo Region,” she told reporters.
There have now been 294 deaths in the region, with five of those occurring in September.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford described the child’s death as “absolutely gut-wrenching” on Twitter after it was announced on Friday morning.
“My prayers are with the family at this excruciatingly difficult time,” he went on to say. “This virus knows no bounds. It’s why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated – to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those who can’t yet get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Health Minister Christine Elliott also shared her thoughts and prayers for the family on Twitter, describing the child’s death as a “heartbreaking loss.”