A child who travelled to Hawaii with his vaccinated parents has died after contracting COVID-19.
The Hawaii Department of Health said Tuesday the boy is under 11 and had known underlying conditions.
“While we mourn all victims of COVID-19, today’s announcement of the death of a child from this virus is especially heartbreaking,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement. “Dawn and I express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of this child.”
It was the first coronavirus-related death of a child in that age range in Hawaii.
There have been 479 reported deaths linked to COVID-19 in the state.
Department of Health spokesman Brooks Baehr said the child began to show symptoms shortly after arriving in the state and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
The child’s parents were fully vaccinated and were tested for COVID-19 before travelling to Hawaii.
“I can confirm that both parents had been tested and both had tested negative,” Baehr said. “Which indicates that this child was not infected by COVID from the parents.”
People travelling to Hawaii are able to use a negative coronavirus test to be exempted from the state’s 10-day quarantine rule for incoming travellers. Children under 5 are not required to be tested prior to arrival. Baehr did not know if the child had been tested.
“While the parents appear to have taken the steps to insulate the child from COVID by, you know, getting vaccinated and they were tested before they came, this child still somehow was infected with the virus and eventually succumbed to it,” Baehr said.
No further information about the case was released because of privacy laws, Baehr said.
“Anyone who may be on the fence on getting vaccinated could look at this and go, `oh, my goodness, I want to protect myself, but I want to protect, you know, my loved ones and really people I don’t even know,”‘ Baehr said.