North Carolina boy, 6, dies from COVID-19 complications

“He didn’t let anything stop him or slow him down. He was just all around a very loving and sweet boy," said the boy's mother

A 6-year-old first-grader in North Carolina has died from COVID-19. The Charlotte student, Ethan Govan, passed away on Sept. 19, and was one of the youngest in his state to die from the virus. 

County health officials said that the boy had preexisting conditions that contributed to the severity of his illness.

His mom, Sharon Huff, told a local news outlet that her son “loved to have fun.” She added, “He didn’t let anything stop him or slow him down. He was just all around a very loving and sweet boy.”

“He loved music, he loved to wrestle, he loved school, he loved superheroes,” she continued. “He was just all around a very loving and sweet boy.”

Administrators at Ethan’s school, Stoney Creek Elementary School, sent a letter to school parents informing him that a member of their community had lost his life. The school’s staff is working with professionals to provide emotional support to parents, students, and staff. 

Gibbie Harris, the director of the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department, noted that there have been two pediatric deaths in the county this year—and that both children had underlying conditions that were factors in their deaths. “There are situations where children are being exposed that don’t have the ability to fight this off, and we can see from last week how dangerous this virus can be,” she added.

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Harris noted that while 30% of all COVID-19 patients across the country are pediatric cases, she still recommends in-person learning, but stressed that students should wear a mask, and that children should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. 

“It is incredibly unfortunate in our community, and we all need to be part of the solution to keep things from happening like this in the future,” she said. 

According to ABC6 in Philadelphia, there were more than 170,000 pediatric cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. last week, which marked the first time fewer than 200,000 cases have been reported. 

One parent said that he believes the success is due to preventative care and vaccination by teachers and older adults. Parent Nick Aster told the news outlet, “Temperature checks every morning, they are in small groups, and we certainly feel pretty OK about it. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be blasé about it. It means we’re going to be taking our own precautions.” 

While cases are declining, experts note that prevention is still important because children can suffer from multisystem inflammatory syndrome as a result of the virus, and doctors still don’t know the long-term effects of the virus on children. 

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