coronavirus testing

OLYMPIA — Washington officials on Tuesday released a new death data report that includes different categories of deaths related to COVID-19.

The report comes a day after the state Department of Health had reported they reduced the number of coronavirus deaths in the state after determining 39 deaths had been from natural causes.

“Since the first COVID-19 case in Washington in January, DOH has worked to transparently release data in near real-time so that the public, health care providers, policy makers, the media and public health professionals can access current information,” state health officials stated. “This additional information gives context for decision makers working to stop the spread of the virus.”

The latest numbers released Tuesday found that in the cases of 1,458 deaths where the person tested positive for COVID-19, 65 were determined to not have the virus as a cause or contributing factor of death: nine died due to homicide, suicide or accident and 56 were determined to be natural deaths.

Of the 1,393 cases that remain, 1,301 are confirmed coronavirus deaths, 25 are where death certificates are pending or missing a cause of death, and 67 are suspected to be COVID-19 related but their death certificates don’t reflect that. The Department of Health will follow up on each case of suspect deaths to determine the cause.

Additionally, there are 80 deaths where a death certificate lists COVID-19 as a cause or contributor to a death, but where the person does not have a known positive coronavirus test. That number is not not included in the daily count.

Statewide more than 41,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

Officials said that determining the extent to which the coronavirus contributes to a person’s death makes the process complex and data is likely to continue to change over time.

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