Health officials confirmed Monday that an infant who passed away in January 2021 is the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in B.C.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters in the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing Monday (April 26) that the BC Coroners Service completed its investigation last week and determined that COVID-19 was the cause of the infant's death.
Henry stated that "there have been some concerns from other parts of the country that people are who are dying at home from COVID-19...and that of course is a terrible tragedy. Any sudden, unexpected death is investigated by the coroners' office to understand the cause of death."
Since March 2020, B.C. health officials have worked with the Coroners Service to establish a protocol that includes COVID-19 assessment for potential infection in all unexpected death investigations, explained Henry.
If it is determined that COVID-19 is the "direct cause or one of the underlying factors in a death," the Coroner's Service will notify the family and the information is reported to public health, said the provincial health officer.
Several hundred unexpected death investigations have been carried out, but only a few have been related to COVID-19.
"Tragically, one of those was earlier this year. In January, an infant from the Interior Health Authority was being treated at BC Children's Hospital and died," she said.
The family has been notified but no additional details will be released due to privacy reasons.
The report from the Coroners Service will be included in the Province's weekly surveillance report.