Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has been notified of a pediatric fatality related to COVID-19. The death occurred in a female Mesa County resident who’s in the 10-19 age group.

“It is our deepest regret to share the news of the first COVID-19-related pediatric death in Mesa County,” said Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of MCPH. “This news is shocking and saddening not only for us in Public Health, but for every resident. We extend our deepest sympathy to the child’s family and friends.”

The individual was hospitalized before this age group was eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The strain of COVID-19 detected in this case is the B.1.617.2 variant of interest first identified in India. This strain has been shown to be more transmissible but is still being studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more.

MCPH asks residents for their continued support and to consider aiding the community efforts to end the pandemic. “As we mourn this loss, we also take this opportunity to urgently plead with each member of our community to consider the proven methods to protect yourself and those you love from COVID-19, including vaccination and social distancing precautions,” Kuhr added.

The most effective ways to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus are to stay home (away from work, school, child care, and activities) when you are not feeling well, wash your hands often, and get a COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated individuals should maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others and wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost, and identification or insurance is not required. Everyone 12 years of age and older is eligible to be vaccinated.

For information on local COVID-19 vaccination locations, testing locations, and COVID-19 guidance and resources visit the MCPH website.