A Lancaster, California, teenager has died from COVID-19 after being turned away from an urgent care clinic because he did not have health insurance, the town’s mayor R. Rex Parris said Thursday.
“He didn’t have insurance, so they did not treat him,” mayor R. Rex Parris said in a video update.
“On Friday … he was healthy, he was socializing with his friends. By Wednesday, he was dead.”
Parris did not reveal the name of the urgent care clinic, but said the teen was referred to Antelope Valley (AV) hospital, a public hospital north of Los Angeles.
“En route to AV Hospital, he went into cardiac arrest. When he got to AV hospital, they were able to revive him and keep him alive for about six hours,” Parris said.
The case could be the youngest known victim of COVID-19 in the U.S., which passed an alarming milestone on Thursday to become the country with the most confirmed cases worldwide.
According to Parris, the teen had been sick for “a few days” and had no previous health conditions.
The Los Angeles health department’s website has tracked 1,216 cases in Los Angeles County, while California is currently reporting more than 4,000 cases across the state.
Parris concluded his video with a message of solidarity: “This next few months, we have to be together. We have to be strong. And most importantly, stay home.”
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