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A 19-year-old Chicago teenager, Arnold Herrera, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and died a week later. 

Herrera reportedly had no underlying health conditions. He was recovering in his home when his symptoms worsened on Dec. 31. That following day, his family then took him to the University of Illinois hospital where his conditions did not show any improvements. He died that Sunday.

“He told us, ‘Happy new year.’ Unfortunately, after that, he just had complications a full day. He was in pain. We took him to the hospital, and that’s that,” Herrera’s older brother, Pablo Portilla, told a local news station.

“I am always going to remember him for the joyous person he was, for the amazing things he did, the way that he had an effect on everyone’s life,” Portilla said.

The Illinois Department of Health reports Herrera as the 11th person under the age of 20 in Illinois to die of COVID-19.

“It doesn’t discriminate on age. It just happens. And we should all be careful. We shouldn’t think, ‘Oh yeah, because I’m young, it’s not going to happen to me,’ like no,'” Portilla said to WLS. “We just have to be careful. We have to take our precautions, and we have to take this seriously.”

According to the CDC, there have been 1,540 deaths of COVID-19 in the U.S. for people under 30.

There has been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Since Jan. 21, 2021, there have been a total of 21,259,997 cases, and 359,849 deaths of COVID-19 reported in the United States.   

Written ByLauren Akabori

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