Coronavirus claims life of Missouri boy, 13, family says

A 13-year-old boy in Missouri has died from complications related to the novel coronavirus, according to a local report and a GoFundMe created on his family’s behalf. 

Peyton Baumgarth, an eighth-grader at Washington Middle School in St. Louis, died on Saturday from complications related to COVID-19, his family said. The teen is now the youngest victim of the deadly virus in the state, according to local news station KMOV-4. The state’s coronavirus database, however, which tracks coronavirus illnesses, hospitalizations and fatalities by age and ethnicity, did not note Baumgarth’s death in its latest update. 

“This is a devastating loss that leaves a tremendous hole in the heart of every person that knew Peyton,” reads the GoFundMe, which noted the teen was a “wonderful young man who always had a smile to share with you.” 

“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family,” school officials said in an email sent to parents, according to KMOV-4. “The family also asks that we all remember to wear masks, wash hands frequently and follow guidelines. COVID-19 is real and they want to remind students and parents to take these precautions in and outside of school.”

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The 13-year-old’s last day at school was Oct. 22 and he began quarantining on Oct. 26, per the news outlet, meaning he died less than two weeks after he last attended classes. 

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He was hospitalized at Cardinal Glennon Hospital prior to his death, per the GoFundMe. It’s not clear if the boy suffered from any pre-existing conditions that could have played a role in the severity of his illness. 

To date, Missouri has reported more than 192,000 cases of COVID-19, according to state estimates.