Youngest COVID-19 deaths are two children, both 11

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. The virus is now creating mutations that are spreading in the United States and elsewhere. Credit: National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Two children, both 11, are the youngest of COVID-19 resident deaths in Florida, according to state data — a girl from Broward County and a boy from Miami-Dade.

The deaths were reported July 1 and July 2 in a Florida Department of Health report, with no other details other than the two deaths were not travel-related.

But in a matter of months, the age range of deaths has changed substantially as the loss of lives from COVID-19 has continued in Florida. As of July 9, the total number of resident deaths are at 4,009, and the age range of deaths is now 11 to 108. (UPDATE: As of July 10, the total death toll is 4,102. The age range of deaths remains the same.)

The Phoenix has been analyzing data in the state health department reports, including the number deaths in Florida and the ages of residents who have died from the new coronavirus.

In early April, the Phoenix reported the youngest death as a man from Sarasota County, age 28. He had traveled in Illinois and Florida. The death was listed as March 28, 2020, in the early days of the new coronavirus seeping into Florida.

At that time, the oldest resident who died was 100 — a man from Lee County, on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida, north of Naples. The health department posted the death as April 3, 2020.

Less than two weeks ago, the age span of deaths was 16 — a female teen from Lee County — to 108, a woman from Miami-Dade, according to a Phoenix analysis of health department data from late June.

But data reported by the state on July 9 showed the span at age 11 to 108. (The death of the woman in Miami-Dade County, at age 108, was the same in the latest span.)

With younger people dying, the average age of COVID-19 resident deaths in Florida has dipped, the Phoenix found. Less than two weeks ago, the average was 77.72; now it is 77.25.

Overall, 61 of 67 counties in Florida have at least one COVID-19 death, but six counties are still reporting no deaths. Those counties, mostly in northern Florida, are Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Holmes, Lafayette and Okeechobee.

The largest number of deaths, based on July 9, are in Miami-Dade, at 1,092, followed by Palm Beach, 578, Broward, 427, Pinellas, 221, Hillsborough, 182, Lee, 176, Manatee, 138, Polk, 127, Sarasota, 100.

(UPDATE as of July 10: Miami-Dade, 1,118; Palm Beach, 586, Broward, 438; Pinellas, 223; Hillsborough, 186; Lee, 179; Manatee, 138, Polk, 129, Sarasota, 100.)

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.