Health authorities said that the baby girl did not necessarily die due to COVID-19, and that her death is under investigation

By Julie Mazziotta
July 24, 2020 05:08 PM
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A 26-day-old baby who died Sunday in Pennsylvania tested positive for COVID-19, the Berks County coroner said.

The newborn girl had been found unresponsive Sunday morning and was taken to Reading Hospital, where she died shortly after being admitted, Acting Coroner John Hollenbach told multiple outlets.

She was tested for COVID-19 during an autopsy, and the test came back positive Thursday afternoon, WFMZ 69 News reported. However, Hollenbach said, they do not yet know if the baby died due to the virus and her death is currently under investigation. They do not believe her death was due to foul play and they are waiting on toxicology results, he added to CNN.

The newborn was tested for COVID-19 because her aunt had previously tested positive for the virus, but “had been back to work for two weeks now,” Hollenbach said. He did not know if the aunt had come in contact with the baby. The parents, he said, were not tested for COVID-19 before their daughter’s death.

If COVID-19 was the cause of the baby’s death, she would be the youngest in the state to die from the virus, and mostly likely the youngest nationwide.

In late March, the Illinois Department of Public Health said that an infant in the state had died from COVID-19, however they did not specify the child’s exact age. Just a few days later, a 6-week-old baby in Connecticut also died from the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control does not keep a separate count of pediatric COVID-19 deaths, and instead groups children into the 0 to 24 age range in their mortality data. According to their reporting, 226 people between the ages of 0 and 24 have died from the virus since February.

As of Friday morning, more than 4,086,900 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 144,873 people have died, according to The New York Times.

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