Douglas County COVID-19 deaths misreported on Nebraska dashboard

(Omaha, NE) -- The Douglas County Health Department says a mistake in the reporting of the county's deaths led to a spike in Thursday’s report on the state's COVID-19 dashboard.

In a Friday release, the DCHD said due to human error a number of Douglas County deaths were mistakenly reported as coronavirus related deaths on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services dashboard.

In his coronavirus update Friday morning, Governor Pete Ricketts said that 92 of the state’s more than 100 COVID-19 deaths reported on Thursday had come from Douglas County. He said that the state was looking into the cause of that spike.

Now, the health department says on Thursday, they received a list of deaths from the state of people who at one time tested positive for COVID-19, to review. They say the intent was to confirm that while the people may have had the virus at one time, COVID-19 was not their cause of death and was not listed on their death certificates.

DCHD says due to the human error, they were mistakenly entered into the state surveillance system as COVID-19 related deaths but that they are the process of correcting that error.

The health department says in Douglas County, deaths are only reported as COVID-19 related when the attending physician or the county coroner lists COVID-19 as the primary cause of death or as a contributing cause of death, and there is a positive COVID-19 test on record.

The error did not affect data shown on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard.

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