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How low is the number of deaths from COVID-19 across California?

Death toll from COVID-19 In California, it could be significantly higher than today’s numbers. With thousands more deaths from the disease hidden behind other causes. New research shows that these additional deaths are concentrated in certain parts of the state in particular.

Researchers from Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania calculated the number of deaths occurring in every U.S. district in 2020 and compared it to the estimated number of deaths in that county in the non-epidemic year. They used historical mortality data from 2011 to 2019 to estimate the estimated number of deaths for 2020. are “Excessive number of deaths”

The Chronicle examines the deaths of COVID-1

9 What is the official state of each California county? compared to the number In the state’s 47 counties with more than 30,000 residents, we found that 42 counties had too many deaths in 2020 above projected levels in the non-epidemic year. Of those, 29 had died in excess of those not infected with the coronavirus, including 14 of the state’s 15 most populous counties. We call excess deaths not caused by COVID-19 as “residual deaths.”

In Los Angeles County, 27% of excess deaths in 2020 are residual deaths. In Alameda County, 37% of the excess deaths are left over.

Andrew Stokes, professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. And the lead author of the study on excess mortality told The Chronicle, citing Alameda County’s remaining 37% mortality rate.

About 32 percent of California’s excess deaths are left over, according to an April study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association across the state. That’s almost 28% higher than the overall US rate.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo “This is not a trivial matter for academics” in the study, “these numbers are huge.”

Some of these remaining deaths could be attributed to epidemic-related factors, such as an accelerated drug overdose or lower standard of care driven by overcrowded hospitals. and the reluctance of individuals to seek self-treatment during pandemics.

For example, Mendocino County, which has an excess death rate of 1.4 per 1,000 people, is the highest in the counties we analyzed. More deaths were reported due to heart disease, diabetes, suicide and influenza-related pneumonia. County public health spokesman Laura Arms .

in san francisco The county’s high residual mortality rate — about 50% of the county’s excess deaths are not destined for COVID-19 — appears to be linked to drug overcounts. The size that caused the death to skyrocket Drug overdose deaths in the city increased 61% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The increase was from 441 to 712. Stokes’ method for predicted mortality did not take into account the dramatic increase in overdose deaths. “It should partially reflect the impact of the 2020 increase in overdose.”

Although California is not as harsh as San Francisco. But California also found that last year’s fatal drug overdoses have also skyrocketed. The state had a 45 percent year-over-year increase in drug overdose deaths as of October 2020, according to preliminary data from the CDC.

However, many of the excess deaths that California recorded last year are likely to be from COVID-19. which does not include such the researchers said

Stokes noted that some counties had fewer deaths a year than usual. This could be a county with relatively few deaths from COVID-19 and fewer deaths from other causes, such as other infectious diseases. or accidents on the road due to stay-at-home orders and other public health measures

An additional factor that may help explain the California’s above-average excess of deaths is the identification of the cause of death. for deaths occurring outside the hospital The state relies on a sheriff-coroner system. This means that there are elected officials who do not need a medical degree.

An analysis for Stat News found that counties with a sheriff’s coroner often had higher residual death rates compared to counties with state or local medical examiners.

In addition to the lack of thorough medical training Stokes also said that The coroner could be affected by their political bias. Politics about coronavirus deaths during the Trump administration may influence politically conservative sheriffs – coroners away from identifying suspected COVID-19 deaths.

“If some of the sheriff’s coroners … are partisan or politically inclined. That could definitely affect the likelihood of giving death certificates to COVID-19,” Stokes said.

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