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Amarillo health experts discuss COVID-19 impact on kids after death of kindergartener

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 9:40 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -The first known student death due to COVID-19 in the area has been confirmed. The kindergartner attended a school within the Amarillo school district.

This death comes just days after reports showed AISD has some of the highest levels of cases in all of Texas. The Amarillo Public Health Director, Cassie Stoughton confirmed the death during today’s city health briefing.

"We’re heartbroken, and our thoughts and prayers go out to this particular family and any family who has lost someone,” said Stoughton

Currently there is not a lot of information on the child’s passing. But, according to the Texas Education Agency, there are a total of 413 students with COVID-19 at schools within AISD.

Of those 413, 292 are in grades seven through 12, 80 of them are in grades four through six and 41 of them are between the early education and third grade levels, which is the group this child was a part of.

Meanwhile, area health experts continue to confirm pediatric cases that require hospitalization.

“We do have a pediatric intensive care patient; we also have another patient on the pediatric unit that is not ICU,” said Dr. Michael Lamantee, chief medical officer at BSA.

This comes as area hospitals have become overwhelmed with capacity and do not expect to trend downwards anytime soon.

Data provided by the Public Health Department currently shows those ages zero through 19 make up 1,600 of the total 15,000 cases in both Potter and Randall counties.

However, a local rapid testing center says recently those in the age range of 1st and 2nd grade have been testing positive at increasing rates.

“Young people can get very sick with this disease, we need not be fooled about that," said Dr. Lamanteer

The data also shows one other death among those zero through 19, but that is all the information we have on that case at the moment.

The CDC recommends, parents check their kids temperature every morning before school, and constantly check for signs of illness such as sore throat, cough, severe headache, or body aches.

As for AISD, they have no plans to transition all their classes to online learning in the near future.

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