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Massachusetts To Reduce ‘Significant Overcount’ Of COVID-19 Deaths


The Massachusetts Public Health Department announced Thursday that the state would lower its COVID-19 death count by 3,700 due to new measuring criteria being implemented. The department said in a statement the new death definition is following the guidance (pdf) of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a standardized approach for states to count COVID-19 deaths. “Our approach proved to be too expansive and led to a significant overcount of deaths in Massachusetts,” Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke told the State House News Service. Massachusetts deemed COVID-related fatalities those which have case investigations determining the virus “caused” or “contributed” the death, those having COVID-19 as a cause of death on their death certificate, and those having a COVID-19 diagnosis within 60 days of their death. The updated definition will reduce the timeframe from 60 days to 30 days.  » Read full article

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