First Covid-19 death reported in Wilbarger County

Texas’ new way to count Covid-19 data revealed that there has been a coronavirus-caused death in Wilbarger County.

On July 27 Texas DSHS began reporting COVID-19 fatality data based on death certificates. A fatality is counted as a COVID-19 fatality when the medical certifier attests on the death certificate that COVID-19 is a cause of death.

State health officials said the new death totals are compiled by using the cause of death listed on death certificates, instead of waiting for local and regional public health authorities to report them to the state. Death certificates are required by law to be filed within 10 days.

“This method allows fatalities to be counted faster with more comprehensive demographic data. Using death certificates also ensures consistent reporting across the state and enables DSHS to display fatalities by date of death, providing the public with more information about when deaths occurred,” the agency said in a statement.

Only deaths directly attributed to the COVID-19 virus are counted. This method does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause, the agency said.

That death certificate data identified 5,713 fatalities among Texas residents, including 44 newly reported on Monday — including the newly reported case for Wilbarger County.

That compares with 5,038 deaths reported Sunday under the previous method.

There have been 35 positive cases in Wilbarger County, 11 in Hardeman County, and 2 in Foard County. Wilbarger County reports 28 recoveries, six active cases and one death. The county has a state waiver opting ut of the governor’s statewide mask-wearing mandate. The waiver is good as long as the county remains under 21 active cases.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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