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Following CDPHE's reporting changes, COVID-19 deaths in Weld County drop

Posted on 05/22/2020
Following CDPHE's reporting changes, COVID-19 deaths in Weld County drop

Following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) announcement regarding a change in their reporting of COVID-19 deaths, Weld County has begun the process of updating the data on the Weld County COVID-19 data dashboard, which should be completed by early next week. The result will be a decrease in the number of deaths in Weld County from COVID-19.

Earlier this week, CDPHE announced they would begin reporting deaths in two ways:

1. Deaths among people with COVID-19: represents the total number of deaths reported among people who have COVID-19, but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death.

2. People who died from COVID-19: total number of deaths whose death was attributed to COVID-19 as indicated on a death certificate.

“According to our coroner, who had already been keeping track of deaths of individuals from COVID-19 separate from deaths of individuals with COVID-19, the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in Weld County will decrease quite a bit,” said Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. Prior to their change this week, however, CDPHE’s direction to local health departments was to combine the deaths from and deaths with COVID-19.

In discussions with the coroner, the emergency operations center and the joint information center on Wednesday, when the total number of deaths stated on the county’s data dashboard was 126, the Board learned that number would drop to 89 deaths from the COVID-19 virus; a decrease of approximately 30%.

The coroner’s office is currently reviewing death certificates for additional information (age, gender and date of death) to provide to the GIS department which who update the county’s dashboard to reflect this change in reporting.

The county will also remove “suspect results” from the number of reported cases. A suspect result occurs when a positive antibody test is reported into the Colorado Electronic Disease Reporting System (CEDRS). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that these antibodies likely resulted from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, or possibly a related coronavirus. CDPHE is not including suspect results in their COVID-19 case counts. In order to remain consistent with state reporting, Weld County will remove all suspect results. This change will decrease Weld County’s overall case count by approximately 100 cases.

Changes in this data will be seen on the Weld County Data Dashboard the week of May 25. https://www.weldgov.com/departments/health_and_environment/2019_novel_coronavirus/covid19_data