by Carol J. Bova
Anecdotes and social media comments have insisted that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has counted deaths from suicide, gunshot or motor vehicle accidents as COVID-19 deaths.
On March 19, VDH announced on its COVID-19 Dashboard that it had reviewed more than 10,000 reported COVID-19 deaths using the Virginia Case Definition for COVID-19 Associated Mortality. The announcement said of the reviewed deaths:
Among these, less than 1% (99 deaths) were determined to not qualify as “COVID-19 associated” deaths per the case definition and [were] re-classified to be a COVID-19 case that did not result in death. Today (3/19/21), a decrease in total net number of COVID-19 deaths is being reported on the VDH COVID-19 dashboard (more COVID-19 deaths were removed than added on 3/19/21).
Since the net change was -90, that would mean only 9 deaths were recorded on March 18.