Santa Clara County adjusts criteria for COVID-related deaths
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Santa Clara County since the start of the pandemic has been reduced by about 22% after the county’s public health department refined its criteria for define a COVID-related death.
The county had attributed more than 2,200 deaths to COVID-19 as of Thursday, according to the dashboard. The new definition of a COVID-related death focuses on the cause of death and aligns with other counties in the state, according to the county. The previous definition included anyone who had COVID-19 at the time of death.
Under the new criteria, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 would be reduced by nearly 500 people. But COVID-19 remains the third leading cause of death among residents of Santa Clara County in 2020, even after the updated definition.
Dr Sarah Rudman, the county’s deputy public health official, said in a press release on Friday that county officials recently had the opportunity to analyze the deaths at the height of the pandemic.
“This sophisticated approach to reporting death data will help us look back to better understand what happened in our county and better protect the health of our community in the future,” said Rudman. “At the same time, our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those we lost during the pandemic, that their deaths have ultimately been attributed to COVID-19. “