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5-year-old daughter of two Detroit first responders dies from coronavirus

The 5-year-old daughter of two Detroit first responders has become the youngest person in Michigan to die from coronavirus, The Detroit News reports. LaVondria Herbert, the mother of Skylar Herbert, told the local publication about her daughter's death on Sunday.

Skylar tested positive for COVID-19 in March and later developed a rare form of meningitis and brain swelling, the newspaper reported. Skylar received care at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, Michigan and was at first showing signs of improvement, but then her condition started going downhill.

"We decided to take her off the ventilator ... because her improvement had stopped, the doctors told us that it was possible she was brain dead, and we basically just knew she wasn't coming back to us," Herbert told The Detroit News.

"The loss of a child, at any time, under any circumstances, is a tragedy. We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has taken the life of a child. We extend our deepest sympathy to Skylar's family and all others who have lost a loved one to this virus," Beaumont Health said in a statement emailed to CBS News.

Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit posted about Skylar's death. "There are no words to express how deeply saddened we are by the passing our beloved member Skylar Herbert," the church wrote on Facebook. "Skylar touched our hearts with her cheerful spirit and brightened our Sunday's with her smile. We thank God for gracing our congregation with her life and find solace in knowing that she now rests in the Lord's presence. Please keep Sis. Faustina Green (grandmother) and Skylar's parents lifted in prayer."

There are no words to express how deeply saddened we are by the passing our beloved member Skylar Herbert. Skylar...

Posted by Metropolitan Church of God on Sunday, April 19, 2020

Before Skylar's death on Sunday, the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in Michigan was 20 years old, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

A spokesperson for the department told CBS News via email that a child in Michigan who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, although they could not confirm the child's identity. 

"Michigan has lost residents ranging from ages 5-107 due to COVID-19," the spokesperson said, adding that the department "sends its condolences to the child's family and the families of all who have been lost to COVID-19." CBS News has also reached out to the Herbert family. 

While children are not as likely to develop severe symptoms of coronavirus or die from it, young people are not immune to the disease and even young children can get sick.

Michigan has confirmed at least 32,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 2,400 deaths in the state. The Detroit area has been especially hard hit, with over 7,700 confirmed cases and 629 deaths as of Monday, according to the city's health department

In Michigan — as in many other states — the African American community has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak. According to state data, one-third of COVID-19 patients and 40% of those who died were African American, even though African Americans make up only about 14% of the population.

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