On Tuesday The Iowa Department of Public Health announced a change in the way they report deaths attributed to COVID-19 to better align with national and state reporting. As they learn more about the virus and testing expands significantly, Iowa like many states has changed its methodology.
The new methodology will be applied retroactively to deaths reported to the state since March and will result in an increase in the number of Iowans whose deaths are attributed to COVID-19.
Additionally, coding can take approximately seven days to complete and return to the state, which will increase the time between when a death is reported to the state and the date it will be published on the website.
As a result Jefferson County increases from 6 deaths to 9, Davis County from 11 to 12, Henry County goes from 8 up to 17, Keokuk County from 10 to 13, Van Buren County 6 to 10, Wapello County shows an increase of 11 deaths, their total is 87. Washington County increased from 16 to 21. Overall the new system accounts for 25 additional deaths in our listening area.