Florida to do 'more thorough review' of data on coronavirus-related deaths

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 17:45:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Citing "confusion" due to data on coronavirus-related deaths, the Florida Department of Health will begin conducting "a more thorough review" of all fatalities reported to the state.

Florida's Surgeon General, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, made the announcement Wednesday.

According to the state, reported fatality data "consistently presents confusion and warrants a more rigorous review." To address that, Rivkees said that the state will change the way it reviews the data.

“During a pandemic, the public must be able to rely on accurate public health data to make informed decisions,” Rivkees said. “To ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 related deaths, the Department will be performing additional reviews of all deaths. Timely and accurate data remains a top priority of the Department of Health.”

The state said of the 95 fatalities reported to the state Tuesday, 5 of the deaths had at least three months between the time the individuals tested positive and passed away, 16 had more than a two-month separation between the time the individuals tested positive and passed away, and 11 occurred more than a month ago.

This comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis' communications director, Fred Piccolo, struck down any talk about scaling back the frequency of coronavirus data reports.