By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A 4-year-old child from Western Riverside County recently died after contracting COVID-19, becoming the youngest person in the county to die from the virus since the pandemic started.

The death occurred during the first week of August, but health officials waited to report the death until receiving confirmation from the coroner’s office. The name of the child and city of residence are not being released.

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“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family, friends and others who are impacted by the death of this child,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County. “This tragedy reminds us that this virus does not discriminate between the young and old. The death of this child strengthens our commitment to halt this pandemic before the loss of another young life.”

According to health officials, there have been 4,727 COVID-19-related deaths in Riverside County since the start of the pandemic.

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The vast majority of the deaths have involved those over 30 years of age, but there have been a handful of teens and young adults who have died from the virus – some with underlying health issues.

The 4-year-old had no underlying health issues, officials said.

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“It is simply heartbreaking that COVID-19 has taken the life of someone so young. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with the child’s family at this most difficult time,” said Supervisor Karen Spiegel, Chair of the Board. “This loss reminds us all that protecting those in our community not yet eligible for vaccinations, including children under 12, should be our top priority.”