Alabama health experts review COVID-19 death cases, make adjustments to data


(WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health is reviewing its COVID-19 death data, according to an announcement Tuesday.

The ADPH said it’s been looking at a large number of deaths from the Alabama Center for Health Statistics since Nov. 11, 2020. Two-thirds of the deaths have been looked at and added to the COVID-19 death numbers in Alabama.

However, these would mean that some of the newly reported deaths would be from months ago rather than a sign of a recent death surge. For example, most of the 226 deaths reported Tuesday are from this historic data, not from people dying recently.

Another consequence of these reviews is that deaths may be removed from the data count due to duplicate records, a case where COVID-19 was mistakenly listed as the cause of death, or in rare cases, a situation where a death is reported for someone that is actually still alive.

As the ADPH continues to review the ACHS deaths in the next few weeks, more deaths could be added to the state’s COVID-19 data. According to the ADPH, this is a standard process for notifiable diseases as health officials review the deaths while records are submitted and investigations are done.

The ADPH said delays in death reporting can happen as information comes in from hospitals, coroners, and other entities.

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