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Minnesota first-grader dies from complications related to COVID-19

Marshall Public Schools
CNN Newsource

MARSHALL, Minn. (CNN) - COVID-19 rarely kills young children, but a community in southwest Minnesota is mourning the loss of a first-grader.

A letter to parents at the school said the child died Sunday as a result of complications from coronavirus.

Kate Raddatz shares what we know about COVID-19 cases in children.

Marshall public schools superintendent told WCCO a first-grade girl named Weekday died from complications from COVID-19.

State health officials have reported an increase in cases and hospitalizations of children from the virus.

"One, I think is COVID fatigue," Dr. Stacene Maroushek said. "That's a big issue right now. People letting down their guard. Two, is there is a new variant going around."

The more contagious B117 variant is spreading throughout the state.

The governor's office said the child that died did not have underlying health conditions.

"I felt immediately heartbroken for the parents and the family," Cecilia Alvarez said.

Alvarez has a daughter in the district.

She wonders if students should go back to distance learning until parents have more information on any potential close contacts in the small town school district.

"Education is, of course, important but their lives are more important," Alvarez said. "You don't get them back, you don't get a do-over."

According to the Marshall School District, 22 students and staff are in quarantine at the elementary school.

The superintendent said they are following MDH guidelines and no grades are changing from in-person learning at this time.

Pediatric pulmonologist for Children's Minnesota Hospital Dr. Brooke Moore said that most children who get covid will be asymptomatic or have mild to moderate illness. But around 10 percent of cases right now are severe.

"It is simply heartbreaking to hear that COVID-19 has taken the life of someone so young," Gov. Tim Walz said Monday. "My thoughts are with the Minnesota family grieving the loss of their beloved child. There is no grief more profound than the loss of family."

This is the third child under the age of 18 who has died in Minnesota since the start of the pandemic.

Experts say children with health conditions, infants, and adolescents tend to be more at risk.

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