Emergency Management Officials: State-Reported COVID-19 Death Confirmed To Be An Error

The state-reported COVID-19 death assigned to Hopkins County on July 12 on the Texas Health and Human Services/Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 website has been confirmed to be an error, entered in error by the state, a member of the Hopkins County Emergency Management Team reported at 12:35 p.m. Monday, July 13.

The HCEMT officials, upon being made aware of the report, contacted state officials both July 12 and Monday morning, because they had not been notified that a COVID-19 death had occurred. At 12:35 p.m., local officials reported they’d just been notified by the state that the death assigned July 12 to Hopkins County was reported in error.

There have been no COVID-19 deaths among Hopkins County residents. The state COVID-19 dashboard, however, still reflects the error, and will likely continue to show it until HHS/DSHS’ next reporting period.

This marks at least the 6th time state officials have had to correct COVID-19 case data from Hopkins County. On at least two occasions the Local Health Authority reported a case was counted twice; those cases were subtracted from Hopkins County’s case count on the state website. This marks the fourth time that the state has reported a COVID-19 death, without notifying local officials before posting the data.

Hopkins County challenged one of state-reported COVID-19 death determinations as the patient had other health conditions leading death, although the patient was confirmed positive COVID-19. The second death, reported the same weekend, was reported by local emergency management officials to have been a duplicate of the first report. The third time a COVID-19 fatality was reported for Hopkins County it was removed from the state website after a few days and reported by local authorities to have been a “duplicate or error” as well.

The HCEMT officials said the numbers they report are released only after they have been confirmed by local and state authorities.

Hopkins County daily trends in COVID-19 cases per 1,000 people, as reported by HHS/DSHS, includes reports of cases found to have been reported in error. The errors are reflected below the colored lines on the charge above, posted July 12.

Author: Faith Huffman

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