The public health director in Nueces County on the Texas Gulf Coast said 85 children under 2 years old, including 52 younger than a year old, have tested positive for the virus.
“These babies have not even had their first birthdays yet,” director Annette Rodriguez said Friday of the infants in the group. “Please help us to stop the spread of this disease. Stay social distanced from others; stay protected. Wear a mask when in public and for everyone else please do your best to stay home.”
The health director added that she believes it is hard for families to isolate such young children and that family members are passing the virus on to each other.
Fewer than 10 of the infants have been hospitalized, she said.
The Nueces County medical examiner, Adel Shaker, told NBC News on Saturday that a 6-week-old boy who died last week tested positive for the virus. Shaker said he has not determined if COVID-19 was the cause of death and is running more tests to find out.
Her announcement came as the U.S. set a single-day record with 75,775 newly-reported cases of the virus, according to NBC News’ tally. The death toll in the country has now passed 140,000.
Globally, more than 14 million people have tested positive for the virus, and more than 600,000 have died, according to data by Johns Hopkins University and NBC News.