Young male from South Hill is Pierce County’s and state’s first death of person under 20 from COVID-19

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Young male from South Hill is Pierce County’s and state’s first death of person under 20 from COVID-19

COVID-19 can affect anyone at any age no matter how healthy.

TACOMA, Wash.—COVID-19 has affected every geographic region and every age group in Pierce County. On Aug. 8, we confirmed Pierce County’s first reported COVID-19 death in a person under 20 years old. The male was also the first reported death in this age group in the state. He was a South Hill resident with no reported underlying health conditions.

“The sad news of this young man’s death reminds us COVID-19 can seriously affect anyone, even someone who is young and healthy,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “The disease is everywhere. To drive down the spread and protect our loved ones, we all need to mask up, maintain physical distance, and stay close to home.”

Everyone has a role to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Widespread COVID-19 transmission continues across Pierce County. You can have the disease and pass it on to others even if you feel fine. For the past two weeks, many of our cases have been among young adults. While people 20-39 years old make up 27 percent of our population, they account for more than 37 percent of our COVID-19 cases.

Take these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Stay close to home.
  • Wear a mask when you leave home.
  • Limit your interactions to a small circle of friends and family.
  • Keep gatherings small, and outside if possible where fresh air circulates.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others. Wear a mask when you cannot maintain 6 feet of space.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms, are a member of a heavily impacted community— American Indian, Alaska Native, Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander—or have participated in any gatherings—social, civic, business, political, athletic or otherwise.
  • Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.

Learn more at

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs, and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

Media contacts:

Dale Phelps, COVID-19 Communications Lead

Cell: (253) 722-3705

Edie Jeffers, Communications and Community Relations Manager

Cell: (253) 405-6822

 Steve Metcalf, Communications Specialist

Cell: (253) 345-8238