State confirms COVID-19 death of school-aged child

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. April 26, 2021 – Education Minnesota is sending its condolences and support to families and educators in southwestern Minnesota after the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Monday that a school-aged child has died of complications from COVID-19. 

“There is nothing sadder than the death of a child and our hearts go to all the families, friends and educators touched by this tragedy,” said Denise Specht, the president of Education Minnesota. “This shows the pandemic isn’t over yet. All Minnesotans still need to look out for each other.” 

The state health department said the child was less than 10 years old. The department reported that otherwise healthy children can die of COVID-19, although it’s rare. Three Minnesota children under age 18 have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 

The department did not comment specifically on the child who died, including whether the child was exposed to the virus at school or in some other location. 

The Marshall Independent newspaper has identified the child as a first grader at Park Side Elementary school in Marshall, Minnesota. The student died Sunday, according to a letter sent to parents by Marshall Superintendent Jeremy Williams. Williams said a crisis team would be available to support students.  

Specht encouraged all members of Minnesota’s school communities — parents, educators and students — to follow the state experts’ advice and get vaccinated, wear masks in public and practice social distancing. She encouraged parents and students to follow the state’s new testing recommendations and stay home if they’re sick or test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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