Washington COVID-19 death toll may be higher

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 22, 2020

EMTs transfer a patient out of the acute care COVID unit at Harborview Medical Center.

"And that means we want to understand the full spectrum of the disease and of course the COVID-19 deaths are the most severe end of the spectrum".

Because they occurred before the first case was identified in the state, officials are investigating those 3,000 deaths to determine whether they're from COVID-19 and should be added to the state death toll, Hutchinson said. "We will be removing them over time from our death count".

Some COVID-19 deaths were easier to confirm.

The Washington State Department of Health on Thursday reported 146 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.

"The process for identifying, recording, and registering COVID-19 deaths is complex and involves multiple data systems".

"There are a number of nuances to the data that we report and often it is very hard - especially quickly - to make an assessment on the cause of death", Dr. Katie Hutchison, the health statistics manager for the Washington State Department of Health, said, according to KOMO News. "So the data we are publishing on our website every day are the most accurate data that we have on any given day with the intention to be extremely transparent and make the information as understandable as possible". "And that is really quite excellent - considering how death certificates are processed". That's part of the reason the normal death-identifying process can take over a year. Their goal was to get the data out as quickly as possible, "in near-real time so immediate decisions could be made to protect the health of Washingtonians", Hutchinson said. The changes were made after several cases of reported coronavirus deaths caught the eye of officials and media, including one incident in which a man who had died from alcohol poisoning had been declared a victim of the virus. Almost 10% of Washington's COVID-19 deaths can not be linked "to a positive case" of coronavirus in the state's disease tracking system. It's not finally until it's registered in the Vital Records system.

"Our current dashboard reflects anyone who died, that tested positive for COVID, irrespective of cause of death", Hutchison said during the news briefing.

Between 20 and 30 other cases included in the count are more hard to rule out, the health department official went on, as the virus is believed to have played a role in their passing, but non-coronavirus causes are listed on their official death certificates. There are no deaths due to vehicle crashes or any other kinds of accidents. Hutchinson said that, in many cases, it is likely the answer may never be known. The cause of death is listed as cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease or renal failure.

There are 3,000 deaths that DOH has flagged that could be COVID-19 deaths. As a result, there is some potential for adjustments as more information comes to light. "We're now reporting only deaths that are identified to a COVID positive case".

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE