Ohio Underreported As Many As 4,000 COVID-19 Deaths

screen shot of the most recent Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, reporting statistics as of Feb. 4, 2021
As many as 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in Ohio may have been underreported through the state’s tracking system, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday evening.

As many as 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in Ohio may have been underreported through the state’s tracking system, the Ohio Department of Health said in a late Wednesday press release.

Those deaths, most of which OHD said were from November and December, will be added to the state’s tally of deaths from the coronavirus during the coming week.

“Process issues affecting the reconciliation and reporting of these deaths began in October,” the press release said. “Although being reported this week, the deaths will reflect the appropriate date of death on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.”

The disparity was identified during a routine employee training, state officials said, though state-reported numbers have been less than those reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for several months.

The state did not indicate the counties where those deaths occurred.

ODH will continue working with the Ohio Auditor's office, which has been examining COVID-19 data since September.

Even without the adjustment, December 2020 was Ohio’s deadliest month since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a year ago, with 2,804 virus-related deaths originally reported.

As of Wednesday, Ohio had reported a total of 11,856 COVID-19 deaths. With the state's announcment about it undercount, that number is now closer to 16,000 deaths.

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