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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A child has died in Yuma County from COVID-19, becoming Arizona's first pediatric death from the virus, according to Yuma County health officials. The child's age was not given. Heath officials say the child also had multiple serious underlying medical conditions.

857 people have died from coronavirus in Arizona with 17,777 cases statewide

"It is our deepest regret to share the news of the first COVID-19-related pediatric death in Arizona,” said Diana Gomez, director of the Yuma County Public Health District. "News like this not only resonates within the health community, but with every resident. We are heartbroken and extend our deepest sympathy to the child’s friends and family. To protect the family’s privacy during this incredibly difficult time, no further information regarding the child will be released.”

Latest Arizona coronavirus news: Updates from Arizona's Family newsroom

Yuma County health officials also reminded the public that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Important preventive steps include the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Consider wearing cloth face coverings, if it can be safely managed, in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Maintain physical distancing activity guidance.
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
 

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