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Why New COVID Death Total Is So High

Jo Ingles

There’s a jump in the state’s latest numbers of people who have died from COVID-19. But there’s a reason for that. 

The state’s coronavirus website shows 752 deaths since Tuesday, the last time the numbers updated. But Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud says 428 of those are Ohioans who died out of state. 

“They are Ohioans who have listed their primary residence as Ohio but they’ve gone somewhere. We don’t know if it was short term, long term, could be snowbirds who have gone to Florida. We don’t know where they contracted the virus but they passed in another state," McCloud explains.

Earlier this week, Ohio changed the way it is counting death data so that it records numbers from death certificates that have gone through the usual federal reporting process. Up to that point, the state had been trying to process death certificates manually through a reconciliation process to get the numbers out faster but determined it was too error prone after 4200 deaths went uncounted in recent months. 

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