COVID-19 death toll increases in county

Staff report

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Public Health has noticed irregularities in the data for COVID-19 related deaths for Miami County, on the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths reported in Miami County has increased from 74 on Thursday, Feb. 4 to 122 as of Monday, Feb. 8.

After an investigation, it was determined that a number of deaths related to COVID-19 were not reporting to the Ohio Department of Heaths’ dashboard, according to Miami County Public Health’s Vicky Kinsley-Henry. The reporting of COVID-19 related deaths is a complex system where information is entered in multiple areas then confirmed by the Ohio Department of Health, Knisley-Henry said.

According to Knisley-Henry, it was determined that information was being entered in one area, but missing in another and due to an overwhelming number of deaths across the state for December, there was a lag in confirming COVID-19 related deaths.

“The issue has been resolved and over the next few days, these unreported COVID-19 deaths will be updated to the dashboard,” she said in a Friday news release. “It is important to remember that these deaths are from previous months and not a sudden increase in COVID-19 related deaths.”

Miami County remains at a Red No. 3 COVID-19 risk level, meeting the criteria for one of the seven Alert Indicators and continues to be listed as a High Incidence Area for 50-plus cases per 100,000 population within the last two weeks.

Since January 22, there have been 560 new cases, which brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Miami County to 9,673, with 8,399 confirmed cases and 1,222 probable cases, 486 hospitalizations and 8,602 presumed recovered.

New COVID-19 cases seem to be trending downward, Knisley-Henry said, but this is not a time to stop safety precautions. To keep this downward trend, she said community members are encouraged to continue wearing masks or facial coverings, stay 6 feet from one another, wash hands frequently, and if you are sick, stay home and away from others as much as possible.

“It will take some time to get enough people vaccinated before we can begin to ease any safety precautions,” she said.

For more information visit the Miami County Public Health website at https://www.miamicountyhealth.net.