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California reports its first teenage death related to coronavirus

A teenager in Central Valley died of causes related to COVID-19 and became the first juvenile death in California, public health inspectors announced Friday.

Officials said the teenager had underlying health conditions but declined to provide further information about their age or place of residence, citing the patient’s privacy issues.

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state̵

7;s public health representative, in a news release.

No other COVID-19-related death of a person under 18 has been confirmed by the state since the pandemic began. In March, public health officials in Los Angeles County announced that a 17-year-old was believed to be dying from causes related to the virus, but later said more investigation was needed.

The news comes as the Central Valley has emerged as a hot spot for new cases of coronavirus in California, accounting for all five top counties with the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times’ statewide coronavirus tracker.

Kern County topped the list, reporting 1,283.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days, followed by Colusa County with 768.7, Merced with 651.1, Kings with 599.6 and Tulare with 599.6.

By comparison, Los Angeles reported 379.5 cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks.

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