What counts as a COVID-19 death in Jefferson County?

How are COVID-19 deaths counted?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 1,325 people have died from COVID-19 in our state.

“Are we counting some people who maybe shouldn’t be counted? Yeah, I think there are some people lumped into that,” says Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Initially, the health department in Jefferson County reviewed all death records to confirm people died OF COVID-19 and not just WITH it.

“Most of the other states in the U.S. were saying if you have a COVID 19 positive test and happen to be deceased, we are going to count that as a COVID death,” explained Hicks.

Alabama adjusted to counting the WITHs.

But Jefferson County has double-checked its death count, which stands currently 190.

“We went back and did a rigorous review of all the deaths up to that point,” said Hicks.

The review confirmed the vast majority of death cases listed as COVID-19 deaths in Jefferson County were indeed from COVID-19.

“94 percent of all the deaths that we called COVID deaths, were truly deaths that people died because of COVID-19,” said Hicks.

The other six percent could be attributed to other factors more so than COVID-19.

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