Persichilli: ‘We are Reporting the Death of a Child’


Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli reported a particularly awful piece of information at today’s COVID-19 War Memorial press briefing. “We are reporting the death of a child” due to COVID-19, said Persichilli.

The child had an underlying medical condition.

She said out of respect to the next of kin, she would share no additional information about the death of the child.

“That precious four-year old is the first fatality of anyone in the state from COVID-19 complications under the age of 18,” Governor Phil Murphy said in reference to the child.

“We’ve lost another blessed life, in this case it’s unfathomable that it was a four-year old,” Murphy added later in the briefing.

NJTV offered this report earlier this week, which reported the following:

Amidst all the angst of COVID, a bright side has been the limited impact it’s had on New Jersey’s children. That is until recent reports of pediatric hospitalizations started to emerge in New York.

“As far as we know now, there is a new, severe form of COVID which we call Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Disorder, which is affecting the blood vessels and the heart. And that one presents with fever, persistent fever, more than four or five days. They develop rash, they have an abdominal pain, they may have vomiting or diarrhea. They also have swelling of the hands and feet and they have swelling of the neck,” said Dr. Figen Altunkaya, a pediatrician at Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care.

There have been about 50 cases in New York of Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Disorder. It’s landed otherwise healthy kids in the hospital, requiring some to be intubated. There are no reported cases in New Jersey, but health care providers are trying to understand the timing because this new wave is behind the curve of adult severity.

And this afternoon, according to a New York Times report, a 5-year-old died in New York City on Thursday from what appeared to be a rare syndrome linked to the coronavirus that causes life-threatening inflammation in children, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

That death of the New York child, according to the Times “is believed to be the first known death in New York related to the mysterious new syndrome, which officials said began appearing in recent weeks.

In addition, “Mr. Cuomo said Friday that 73 children in New York area had been reported afflicted with the illness, which doctors have labeled ‘pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.'”

In his Friday afternoon press briefing, the NJ governor announced an additional 1,985 COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 135,454. In addition, the state suffered the processing of 162 more COVID-19 deaths,  bringing the statewide total to 8,952.

New Jersey continues to move in the right direction, however, according to Murphy.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to trend down, including in the south.

There were 334 COVID-19 patients who went into hospitals in the last 24 hours, but also 464 discharges.

“This is a sign that the work we have all been doing… is working, and that has put us in this position,” the governor said. “There is no cure. There is no vaccine. We only have social distancing, or social solidarity.”

Washing hands.

Face coverings.

The economic situation, of course, is grim.

In the midst of the state’s COVID-19 crisis,trying to get New Jersey upright, Murphy this afternoon announced his signing of an executive order creating a restart advisory council. “This is a boots-on-the-ground real world approach,” the governor said. “It will break into nine committees, which will begin meeting virtally next week.”

Details imminent.

Also, the Bergen COVID-19 testing site will provide tests to certain asymptomatic individuals, the governor announced. “That is critical so that testing is available to our frontline workers,” Murphy said.

At this time, there are 122 COVID-19 testing sites around the state.

Murphy today ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Friday, May 8th, in recognition of the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day. The flags will also fly at half-staff to honor the victims of COVID-19, pursuant to Executive Order No. 114, which remains in effect indefinitely.

“Today, we celebrate the brave soldiers, including many New Jerseyans, that set off to Europe to fight for freedom, for American values, and to defeat fascism.” said the governor. “Seventy-five years ago, good triumphed over evil due to the sacrifices of so many, including some who never made it back home. We are eternally grateful to every soldier that answered the call to service in our time of greatest need.”

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