OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — A school-aged child in Oklahoma died from COVID-19 complications, according to a press release sent out by the state’s Department of Health.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of the state’s first child impacted by COVID-19 since the pandemic arrived in Oklahoma. Our prayers are with the family and community as they mourn the loss of a young, innocent life,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, MD, in the press release. “As the pandemic continues to tragically impact families in our state, we can remain vigilant to prevent the spread by actively protecting each other.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister called on Oklahomans to do their part to containing the COVID-19 outbreak, citing the need for masks and social distancing.

“This heartbreaking tragedy underscores how important it is for us all to wear masks when in public,  follow social distancing guidelines and practice good hygiene,” Hofmeister said in a separate press release.

As states determine how to address schools reopening, Hofmeister said this death certainly plays a factor in how Oklahoma decides to move forward.

“Students need to learn. We want schools to reopen this fall, but for that to happen, it is critical that Oklahomans take decisive actions now to mitigate spread of the virus,” Hofmeister said. “Wearing a mask around other people is a small sacrifice for the sake of literally saving lives. We owe it to our children, teachers and staff for them to be able to go to school knowing that strong safeguards are in place for their safety and well-being.” 

 Oklahoma has more than 800 testing sites, according to the original press release, and an interactive map of testing sites can be found by clicking here.