Backlog nearly doubles Ohio’s COVID-19 death toll in November and December

Ohio added 4,275 previously unreported COVID-19 deaths to the state’s count at the end of last week.

The Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday it had discovered an error that caused up to 4,000 COVID-19 deaths to be left out of the state’s count. The agency blamed the error on a sole employee responsible for reviewing and reconciling death data that is entered in real-time by physicians and data from death certificates, which can take up to six months to be completed.

The department's Bureau of Infectious Diseases and Bureau of Vital Statistics completed the death reconciliation process for the period of October to December 2020,  a department spokeswoman confirmed. That resulted in 4,275 deaths added to the state's toll on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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