A Lancaster girl is the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in Dallas County, health officials announced Tuesday.
Jameela Barber, 17, would have been a senior at Lancaster High School in the fall.
“I would come in class some days and I was sad or I was crying and like, and everybody else would pay no mind, but she was just that person to like, hold me, or like, wipe my tears,” said Myka Turner, Barber’s close friend.
Barber was a cadet leader in the ROTC and a National Honor Society inductee.
Webb said Barber committed to her studies.
She said Barber apologized to a teacher over the phone on Friday for not submitting an assignment on time.
“She said to her, ‘As soon as I feel better, because I'm feeling really, really sick, I'm going to turn in my missed assignments,’ and that baby passed away the next day,” Webb explained.
In the U.S. and China, doctors said people younger than 19 make up just 2% of reported coronavirus cases. On Monday, a 2-year-old girl was diagnosed in McKinney.
“They can get very sick from it. But generally speaking, children are not as likely as adults to have very severe disease from this infection,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Tuesday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Barber passed away in a hospital emergency department before she could be admitted.
“We lost a wonderful person. We lost a wonderful human being,” said Lancaster High School Principal Eleanor Webb.
Health officials said Barber had no known underlying health conditions.
Lancaster ISD Superintendent Elijah Granger said the district and city are planning a celebration of life for Barber.
Tracking COVID-19 Cases in North Texas Counties
NBC 5 is tracking the number of COVID-19 related cases, recoveries and deaths in North Texas counties. Choose a county and click on a city or town to see how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your area.
Cases are cumulative by day and are subject to change, dependent on each county health department's reporting schedule and methodology. Data may be reported county-wide, by city or town, or not at all. Cases, recoveries and death counts in 'unspecified' categories are used as placeholders and reassigned by their respective counties at a later date.
Data: County Health Departments, NBC 5 Staff