The child, who had been described as “under age 10” by the Minnesota Department of Health, was from the southwestern area of the state. The child’s fatality marks the third such death in residents under age 18 since the start of the pandemic.
Taking to Facebook, the governor said he was “heartbroken to hear COVID has taken the life of a first grader.”
“My thoughts are with the Minnesota family grieving the loss of their beloved child,” he wrote. “As vaccines help us turn the page on COVID-19, we can’t forget that this deadly disease is still present in our communities.”
Walz’s office reportedly told WCCO that the child did not have any underlying conditions that would heighten the risk of severe illness.
“Since children under 16 are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the best approach we all can take to keep children safe is to make sure those around them who can get vaccinated do get vaccinated, and that we continue to follow those measures that prevent transmission of the virus,” the state’s health department said. “Those measures include getting vaccinated as soon as you can, wearing masks when in public, socially distancing, getting tested regularly, staying home if you test positive or if you’re sick, washing your hands and covering your coughs.”
Minnesota has seen over 569,440 cases of coronavirus and more than 7,000 deaths. About 30,000 of those cases have occurred in children under 10.