It is now too late to find out whether the death of these patients is related to the coronavirus. But Ms. Evans, who is also a nurse, is frustrated that she will never find out.
“If we go back to the deaths that occurred earlier this year, people who had the flu, we now have the” Aha! “Wait a minute,” she said. “They should have been tested for the corona virus. I would definitely say about sub-reporting. “
Different reporting, more waiting
Even now, with hundreds of coronavirus deaths occurring daily and tests becoming more available, there is a patchwork of standards for information reported by state and local health authorities about deaths. Uncertainties and inconsistencies regarding the numbers quickly arose.
In addition to the complications, different jurisdictions use different standards to attribute coronavirus death, and in some cases rely on techniques that would reduce the total number of deaths.
In Blaine County, Idaho, the site of a growing outbreak, the local health agency is asking for a positive test to confirm that death is a result of a coronavirus. In Alabama, where there is also a significant cluster, the state health agency requires a doctor to review a person’s medical records to determine if the virus was actually the main cause of death.
“This is in the interest of the most accurate and transparent data we can provide,” said Karen Landers, a regional doctor at the Alabama Department of Health. “We are aware that different websites may do this differently.”