Central Valley teenager dies of COVID-19, marking 1st death of a young person in state, officials say

FRESNO, Calif. -- A Central Valley teenager has died due to COVID-19 complications, the California Department of Public Health announced Friday.

Health officials say the teen had underlying health conditions and is the first young person in the state to die from the virus. Further information about the teen was not released.

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Valley Children's Hospital confirmed that they had been treating the patient and released a statement that read, in part, "The death of this patient reaffirms that children, and no age group, are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease. Our children deserve no less."

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The death comes as Central California coronavirus cases have continuously surged over the last several weeks, and as local leaders in Fresno County debate whether children should return to schools for in-person learning.

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Valley Children's Hospital has spoken out against children returning to campuses while COVID-19 transmissions levels are still high in the area.

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