Seattle Children’s on Tuesday confirmed its first patient death from COVID-19, an announcement that comes as hospital leaders throughout the state warn of growing numbers of infections in children.
Dr. John McGuire, chief of Seattle Children’s division of pediatrics critical care medicine, said in a statement that the patient died last week, “despite the extraordinary efforts of the care team.”
“This hits all of us close to home, and the patient and family are in the thoughts and hearts of the Seattle Children’s community,” McGuire said in the statement.
He did not provide other details — including the child’s age or date of death — citing patient privacy.
While infections in children remain fairly low in Washington compared to elsewhere, state hospital leaders Monday said the number of younger COVID-19 patients is increasing.
“Kids are getting sick and they’re going to get sicker,” Dr. Dave Carlson, chief physician officer at MultiCare Health System, which provides care for the greater Pierce County area and Spokane, said during a Monday news conference. “And our numbers aren’t massive right now, but I am very worried that that could shift if you look at some of the experiences of the children’s hospitals in other states.”
As of Tuesday, the seven-day case rate for children between 4 and 10 years old hit 15.3 per 100,000, according to the state Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard. For children ages 11 to 13, the seven-day case rate was 7.2.
Infections among Washingtonians between ages 4 and 19 — DOH identifies them as “K-12 schooling age groups” — steadily declined between May and July of this year, but the number of cases started increasing again near the end of July, reaching a peak in mid-August.