Week Day, a first-grader at Parkside Elementary in Marshall in southwestern Minnesota died on Sunday in a Sioux Falls hospital after battling COVID.
In an obituary, Day was described as a ‘lively girl who loved the color pink’ and ‘singing songs and dancing’ to entertain her family.
Day immigrated to Minnesota from a refugee camp in Thailand with her parents in December 2015 when she was just a year old.
The first-grader was ‘loved by her classmates and teacher,’ who remember her as a ‘sweet girl who enjoyed school and appreciated her studies and sought to learn about the world around her,’ the six-year-old’s obituary read.
Six-year-old Week Day died in a Sioux Falls hospital from COVID-19 complications
Six-year-old Week Day was a first grader at Parkside Elementary in Marshall in southwestern Minnesota
Day’s death marks a rare occurrence of a child dying due to COVID.
Most children who become infected with COVID develop no symptoms or milder symptoms.
Children also have been found to contribute less to the spread of the virus, a Harvard Medical School report found.
In a statement, the Minnesota Department of Health said they were ‘deeply saddened’ to confirm the six-year-old’s death.
‘While COVID-related deaths in children are rare, they can occur even in otherwise healthy children,’ the statement said.
Since the start of the pandemic, three Minnesota children under age 18 have died due to COVID-19, the department confirmed.
The department added that since children under 16 are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the best approach to keep children safe is ‘to make sure those around them who can get vaccinated do get vaccinated, and that we continue to follow those measures that prevent transmission of the virus.’
A total of 575,193 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S. as of April 29. 32,288,764 total cases have been confirmed in the United States
As of April 28, less than 1,000 people per day are dying as a result of COVID in the U.S. A total of 575,193 people have died in the United States due to COVID
Following the news of Day’s death, Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams told parents that classes in the district will continue to be held in person, Marshall Independent reported.
Williams said schools will continue to follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health protocols safety measures including wearing face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and watching for COVID symptoms, he said.
‘I recognize this is scary and concerning for many. We encourage you to continue to watch your students for any signs of COVID,’ Williams said in the letter.
Williams told parents that crisis team members will be available to help support students and asked teachers to be on the lookout for students exhibiting COVID symptoms.
The Marshall Public Schools’ online COVID-19 dashboard showed that 35 students from Park Side were quarantining due to close contact and that two students from Parkside tested positive for COVID.
As of April 22, over 3.71 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported.
Children dying from COVID is incredibly rare, making up just 0.00%-0.19% of all COVID-19 deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Days death was’ simply heartbreaking,’ while Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller said that Minnesotans need to continue to be on alert as the pandemic is not over.
‘This sadly reinforces that the pandemic is not over and the precautions that we are taking are not just for our own safety, but for all Minnesotans – including our youngest students who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. We must finish out the school year strong.’ Mueller said in a statement.