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State changing its COVID-19 death reporting system

As a result of the Ohio Department of Health’s failure to timely report about 4,275 COVID-19 fatalities, it is moving to a new reporting system that will take longer to provide death data, but be more accurate, department officials said today.

That also means instead of COVID-19 death totals being reported daily, they’ll be provided about twice a week.

The Ohio Department of Health revealed last month that it had underreported about 4,275 COVID-19 deaths as it had a single person manually handle the data by comparing death certificate information to a database used by doctors and health departments.

That meant about one in every four COVID-19 deaths was not reported.

The issue was the one person got overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 deaths in October, November and December and couldn’t keep up, said Stephanie McCloud, ODH director

The ODH has made some quality assurance changes that will make the COVID-19 death totals more accurate, but also delay the information from being provided to the public, McCloud said.

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