'Heartbreaking loss': Waterloo region child under 10 with COVID-19 dies
Region's medical officer of health says child had underlying conditions
A Waterloo region child under the age of 10 who had COVID-19 has died, the region's medical officer of health said Friday.
In a media briefing, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said the child had underlying conditions.
"This is a rare but tragic circumstance and a devastating reminder of the serious nature of this virus," Wang told reporters.
There were no school related or child-care related exposures in this case, she said.
This is the region's first COVID-related death in someone under the age of 10.
A spokesperson for Ontario's ministry of health said this is the third death of a child under 10 associated with COVID-19 in the province since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
"We send our deepest condolences to their families," wrote spokesperson Bill Campbell in an email to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.
Premier, health minister, mayor send condolences
Christine Elliott, Ontario's minister of health, addressed the death at a news conference on Friday in Hastings County.
"I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the child in Waterloo region who passed away due to COVID-19," Elliott said, adding it is a "truly tragic situation."
"Not only is it a heartbreaking loss for the community, it's also a devastating reminder of the serious consequences of COVID. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends and family at this time."
Premier Doug Ford also tweeted about the death.
"Absolutely gut-wrenching. My prayers are with the family at this excruciatingly difficult time. This virus knows no bounds," his tweet said.
"It's why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated — to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those who can't yet get vaccinated against COVID-19."
Wang would not comment on whether the family of the child was vaccinated or not.
Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic also tweeted his condolences, saying he was "deeply saddened" by the news.
"On behalf of everyone in the [City of Kitchener] our heartfelt sympathy & condolences to this child's parents, family & friends. This virus is real. Pls get vaccinated!"