VDH Cleans Up COVID Deaths Stats

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.