A baby diagnosed with coronavirus has died in a hospital in the NSW Hunter Region.
A spokesperson for the Hunter New England Local Health District confirmed the death to Yahoo News Australia. The child “sadly passed away” in December, they said.
“The child had tested positive for Covid-19,” the spokesperson said.
“Given uncertainties as to the cause of death, the case has been referred to the coroner.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while the coroner investigates this tragic death.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the family who we remain in contact with and continue to support.”
It is not clear what the child’s age was but The Newcastle Herald reported the infant was eight weeks old and had no underlying health conditions.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said she has spoken to the family, who were keen to protect their privacy.
"You can imagine that this is one of the most difficult times a family could ever go through," she said.
The coroner and forensic pathologists were working hard to deliver answers to the family on what, if any, contribution Covid-19 had on the baby's death.
"Our priority will be that ... the coroner will inform the family, the family will have the time to talk to the clinicians about the implications of the findings, and then we will release it publicly, given the significant interest in this case," Dr Chant said.
If the child did die from Covid-19, it would make them one of the youngest deaths from the highly contagious virus in Australia.
In December, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall confirmed a toddler died with Covid-19 with that death also reported to that state's coroner.
"It is tragic," he told reporters.
"The family is in huge distress and my condolences to the family at this very, very tough time."
Mr Marshall said he would not be giving details about whether the child was in hospital.
A child under five also died with coronavirus at a home in Sydney’s southwest earlier this month.
Dr Chant said he was not vaccinated. NSW Health said the boy had significant underlying health conditions.
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