WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An 11-year-old boy died of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the youngest confirmed fatality from COVID-19 in the state, according to local government officials.
Previously the youngest victim from COVID-19 was a 16-year-old girl from Lee County.
The boy's death came the same day that Florida hit a grim record in connection with the pandemic, as the state announced 10,109 new cases, on Thursday. The new cases on Thursday put the state total at 169,106.
There were more than 52,000 new cases of the coronavirus recorded across the country on Thursday. About 25,000 of those cases occurred in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
Dr. David Dodson of Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, fears that numbers will only increase.
Dodson described the increase in positive COVID-19 cases as exponential and added that 17 percent of all the hospitalizations in Florida right now are people under the age of 45.
Dodson said the best preventative measures people can do is wear masks, avoid large crowds and stay at home when possible.
"Even though it's beautiful outside, and the sun is shining, we're in a hot zone. We're in a pandemic. This is a lethal pandemic, and how this goes depends on each of our behavior," Dodson said. "If you really clamp down and make everyone stay home, the virus really can't be transmitted, so then the cases go down after a couple of weeks. Then, we've learned if you open up society and allow people to interact, then the cases go up. So, what we're on right now is an exponential growth curve."
This story was originally published by Chris Gilmore, Allen Cone, Scott Sutton on WPTV in Palm Beach, Florida.