Texas DSHS

Automation Error Led to Higher COVID-19 Fatality Count This Week, Texas DSHS Says

State health department pulls 225 deaths off COVID-19 tally

NBC 5 News

The Texas Department of State Health Services says an automation error in their new method of reporting COVID-19 fatalities led to 225 deaths being added to the state's death toll when they shouldn't have been.

On July 27, the state said 675 deaths were being added to the list of those killed by COVID-19 and that the increase was due to a change in reporting method that relied on death certificates rather than reports from various public health departments.

The switch was to provide greater demographic information about the victims and allow for more expedient reporting of fatalities.

On Thursday, the DSHS tweeted that they needed to correct some of the numbers published this week due to an automation error that "caused 225 fatalities to be included even though COVID-19 was not listed as a direct cause of death on the death certificate."

The state health department then revised the death totals published those days as follows:

  • June 27 -- changed from 5,713 to 5,489, +451 instead of +675
  • June 28 -- changed from 5,877 to 5,650, +161 instead of +164
  • June 29 -- changed from 6,190 to 5,952, +302 instead of +313

On Thursday, the state said another 322 Texans had died after contracting the virus when they reported the state's death total reached 6,274.

So far this week, since Monday, the state has reported 1,236 deaths -- the most of any week since the pandemic began in March.

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