State officials in Connecticut confirmed Wednesday that a newborn baby has died from coronavirus. According to state leaders, a 6-week-old girl from Hartford was unresponsive when admitted to the hospital late last week and, ultimately, could not be revived. The baby was tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, postmortem and her death is believed to be the state's first coronavirus-related pediatric fatality, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.
"It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to #COVID19," Lamont announced over Twitter on Wednesday. "A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived. Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive." The governor later clarified in a press conference that the child had been between 6 and 7 weeks old.
There have been a total of 3,557 confirmed coronavirus cases and 85 deaths in Connecticut since the state's first case was reported on March 8, the according to The New York Times. While many of those who have died from coronavirus are reported to be elderly and older adults, Connecticut's latest coronavirus death — as well as the death of an infant who tested positive for the virus in Illinois earlier this week — shows young children are not completely immune to the virus.
"This is absolutely heartbreaking," Lamont tweeted. "We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19."
Lamont went on to describe the novel coronavirus as "a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy." He also argued that the infant's death highlighted how important it was for residents to continue to stay home and practice social distancing. "This also stresses the importance of staying home and limiting exposure to other people," he wrote. "Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it."
News of the 6-week-old's death in Connecticut comes less than a week after the Illinois Department of Public Health announced an infant younger than 1 year old had died after testing positive for coronavirus. While no details pertaining to that infant's medical history have been reported, Illinois has launched a full investigation to determine the infant's exact cause of death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, children with no underlying serious medical conditions do not appear to be at an increased risk for contacting coronavirus. Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend parents of young children wash their and their children's hands frequently with soap and water and teach children not to touch their face or mouth. The CDC further encourages parents and children to avoid touching high-touch public surfaces such as elevator buttons and handrails. The AAP also recommends reducing contact with others by staying home as much as possible and practicing social distancing when in public.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.