SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Wednesday reported its second pediatric death from COVID-19, a 15-year-old girl who died Feb. 3.
The teen had underlying medical conditions, and had not been vaccinated, the HHSA reported.
"Pediatric deaths are very tragic and unfortunate. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of this young girl," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "This unfortunate death reminds us that COVID-19 can impact anyone, regardless of age or gender, and we must do everything to protect ourselves and our loved ones."
In addition to deaths, the pediatric age group is at risk for developing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different body parts become inflamed. A total of 96 MIS-C cases have been reported in San Diego County since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In San Diego County, 94% of residents eligible -- age 5 and older -- have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Around 84% of those 12- 17 have gotten at least one dose. The percentage drops to about 43% for those between the ages of 5 and 11.
The California Department of Public Health is undertaking a nine-week vaccination campaign with local community organizations and pediatric medical providers to get children age 5 and up vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered at after-school programs, libraries, local parks and other recreational areas.
"The more people who are vaccinated, the better protected we all will be," Wooten said.
San Diego County is one of seven California counties participating in CalScope, a study intended to help public health professionals better understand how many people in California have antibodies against COVID-19.
The California Department of Public Health has randomly selected about 45,000 San Diego households to participate in the study.
If a household is selected, it should have received or should be receiving an invitation with an access code to sign up online or over the phone. Participants will be asked to complete an anonymous survey and a free, at-home COVID-19 antibody test using a finger-prick blood sample.
Each participant will receive a $20 gift card for completing the survey and a $20 gift card for returning the blood test sample.
A total of 242 new COVID-19 infections were reported by the county on Wednesday, along with five deaths. The latest data increases the county's cumulative totals to 753,939 infections and 5,229 deaths.
The county's COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased by seven to 106, according to the latest state data.
The number of those patients in intensive care remained steady at 22 as of Wednesday, while available ICU beds decreased by 10 to 249.