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OSDH is auditing 2020's COVID-19 death count

Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 20:46:16-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Health gave their weekly COVID-19 update today. They confirmed they are seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

They are also conducting an audit on the 2020 COVID-19 death count.

Right now, the CDC's death report shows more than 13,000 deaths in Oklahoma than what the state is reporting.

Now the health department's team is doing a more thorough review to confirm the accuracy of the 2020 COVID-19 death numbers.

Today they were supposed to release the updated count, but they said their team is still in the process of conducting that review.

They said the CDC counts COVID-19 deaths as a case definition, which is a standard for every state. However, the state health department tracks deaths differently.

For example, a physician can list COVID-19 as the cause of death in a death certificate, but the state wants to confirm there was in fact a COVID-19 positive test for that patient.

"I don't anticipate that we're going to call very many of these out because of this process, I feel like more than anything what we're going to do is we're going to confirm that the deaths are accurate as presented on the death certificates and therefore, we'll update our records accordingly," Keith Reed, deputy commissioner said.

While the health department is cautiously optimistic about COVID-19 being on the decline, they continue encouraging Oklahomans to get vaccinated ahead of fall break and Halloween.

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