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Are COVID-19 deaths underreported?

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Coroner’s Office not able to test

The Baldwin County Coroner’s Office has been called out on 53 different occasions since March 1.

The Coroner’s Office responds to all deaths in Milledgeville-Baldwin County that occur outside of a hospital setting, as well as all deaths that occur during a short-term hospitalization (in the hospital for less than 24 hours).

In nine of those coroner calls, the deceased had previously tested positive for COVID-19, including this past weekend, when the Coroner’s Office was called out after another local man lost his life due to COVID-19 complications. Those nine COVID-19 deaths, of course, aren’t the total for Baldwin County, and that figure doesn’t account for deaths that occurred following longer stays at Navicent Health Baldwin or one of the hospitals in Macon. Also, “several” of those deaths were attributed to citizens who resided in other counties.

Meanwhile, during three other coroner calls since March 1, COVID-19 was suspected but not confirmed. The Coroner’s Office currently is not testing posthumously for COVID-19, despite that fact that the CDC has recommend the practice. confirmed. The Coroner’s Office currently is not testing posthumously for COVID-19, despite that fact that the CDC has recommend the practice.

“We haven’t been given the resources and the tools to do so,” said Deputy Coroner Ken Garland.

A May 11 article in the Wall Street Journal claimed that COVID-19 deaths in New York City could be underreported, due to the fact the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in the city was not performing wide-Lake O spread COVID-19 testing on individuals who died at home.

Here in Baldwin County, there have been 39 coroner calls since March 1 in which COVID-19 was not immediately suspect Several of those can be immediately ruled out, specifically three shooting deaths and two traffic fatalities. Nevertheless, there have been 30-something deaths in Milledgeville-Baldwin County since March 1 in which a COVID-19 test was not performed.

So, are COVID-19 deaths being underreported in Milledgeville- Baldwin County? Well it’s impossible to substantiate, because those 30-something coroner call deaths are in the past, and those people who were never tested already have been buried.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the large majority of people who’ve been dying at home were never tested for COVID-19.