Public Health | L.A. County’s First Confirmed COVID-19 Death in a Child

Following new record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and high number of deaths



The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has tragically confirmed the first COVID-19 death in a L.A. County child under the age of 18 years old. The child was hospitalized for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and had severe underlying health conditions. The child that passed away is also the first MIS-C associated death in L.A. County.

MIS-C is the inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems, require hospitalization, and be life-threatening.

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As of Thursday, Public Health has confirmed 45 children with MIS-C in L.A. County. All were hospitalized and 50% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 27% were under the age of 5 years old, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 35% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for 73% of the reported cases.

MIS-C symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and L.A. County will help connect you to one.

Thursday, Public Health has confirmed 74 new deaths and 12,819 new cases of COVID-19. That number of new cases surpassed the previous high on December 6 when the County experienced 10,528 new COVID-19 cases. L.A. County continues to experience high number of new deaths and more new cases reported each day for COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic.

There are 3,433 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. Just in the past two days, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased by more than 300.

To date, Public Health identified 487,917 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,149 deaths. Upon further investigation, 173 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents. Testing results are available for more than 4,022,000 individuals with 11% of all people testing positive.

“It is heart breaking that everyday more people are losing loved ones to COVID-19 and tragically a L.A. County child has passed away from this deadly disease. I send my deepest sympathies to everyone who is mourning a loved one lost to COVID-19. Please know we keep you in our thoughts and prayers,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We are two weeks out from Thanksgiving, and we are witnessing the devastating impact of the actions people took over the holiday. If a non-household family member or friend invites you over to spend time together, please kindly decline. Without more people following the Public Health safety guidance, we are running a risk that could have catastrophic consequences, with hospitals becoming overwhelmed and severely ill patients not able to get the care they need. We need to get back to what we did in the spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, when few people went out and we took seriously our responsibility to care for each other. This will slow the spread, protect those most vulnerable residents and prevent deaths. Our actions can save lives; please diligently follow all the safety guidance.”

Los Angeles County has planned initial vaccination efforts for when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes or approves one or more COVID-19 vaccines.

Because the vaccines will be a limited supply, the focus will be to vaccinate health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, in alignment with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. We are expecting an initial allocation of approximately 83,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with expected delivery early next week.

This will hopefully be followed by two addition allocations of vaccine in December, followed by weekly allocations thereafter in the new year. The initial allocation will be sent to nine sites across the county with ultracold freezers, a requirement for the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccine will then be distributed to 83 acute care hospitals across the county and administered to healthcare workers prioritized based on risk. Long-term care facility residents and staff will receive vaccine from CVS and Walgreen pharmacies, through a federal partnership program.

Additional phases of vaccination distribution will focus on essential workers and high risk groups as prioritized by CDC, including seniors and those with chronic health conditions. Planning for these phases is occurring in close coordination with the CDC, state health department, the local health care community, and many other community partners. Over time, as more vaccine is available it will be offered to everyone. This will likely take months and may not be widely available to the general public until Spring/Summer 2021.

It is extremely important to continue to take steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 or giving it to others while we wait for a vaccine and even after a vaccine is available. Stay home and avoid non-essential activities. Always cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands often. Individuals with underlying health conditions and those that are older should remain in their home and not be around others unless seeking routine or essential health and dental care. If you are having difficulty breathing, go to an emergency room or call 911.

Of the 74 new deaths reported today, 28 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 25 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 15 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one child under the age of 18 years old. Sixty-one people who died had underlying health conditions including 25 people over the age of 80 years old, 24 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 10 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one child under the age of 18 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death by the City of Pasadena.

Ninety-three percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 7,697 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 14% among Asian residents, 9% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website,