The death toll from coronavirus in California fell 25 percent – after officials found some of the deaths were not a “direct result” of the virus.
Alameda County on Friday (31) released the revised number of deaths. As a result, the number of deaths stood at 1,223, a steep decline from the previous number of 1,634.
“Alameda County previously included people who died while contracting the virus in the COVID-19 death toll. All for the county,” health officials said in a statement.
“Compliance with the state definition will require Alameda County to report deaths from COVID-19. Only those who died as a direct result of COVID-19 where COVID-19 cause of death or those who died from COVID-19 19 cannot be ruled out.”
Health officials said they had begun counting people who tested positive for the virus at the time of their death as part of the official count before the state redefined it late last year.
“Obviously our definitions are broader than state,” Neetu Balram, a spokesman for the county health agency, told The Oaklandside.
Balram was unable to provide details on the deaths of those removed from the official count.
“There are a lot of people who have died from causes that are not clearly caused by COVID-19,” Balam told the outlet.
Nicholas Moss, a county health worker Accept that the revised toll “It will raise eyebrows” — but he hopes the updated numbers will reassure residents they are committed to accuracy.
“This does not change our policy decisions now or during the pandemic,” Moss said.