PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health is updating and adding additional death reporting in relation to COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, South Dakota has reported 1,300 deaths from COVID-19. This number is now considered “Deaths among people with COVID-19.”
According to the state website, “Deaths among people with COVID-19” is the “epidemiological death data” which reflects people who died with COVID-19 but may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate. The number comes from two sources: 1. State-reviewed death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death and state-reviewed death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as a significant condition contributing to death. 2. National case reporting where healthcare providers report cases to the state using a national surveillance case definition, which includes deaths within 20 days of infection without COVID-19 listed on the death certificate.
State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said the national case definition is a broader definition and used by all states across the nation. The deaths are among people who were infected with COVID-19 but it may not be listed on the death certificate, Clayton said.
According to the state website, “Deaths caused by COVID-19” are the vital records of death data based on the DOH coding of death certificates. It reflects the number of deaths due to COVID-19 based on the expert judgment of health care providers and coroners. The number comes from death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. By state law, five days is required after death for a death certificate to be processed.
Clayton said deaths cause by COVID-19 are deaths directly tied to death certificates.
Health officials say “Deaths caused by COVID-19” and “Deaths among people with COVID-19” should not be added together as they are separate data sources.
Some deaths due to COVID-19 are not listed in deaths among people with COVID-19. After review, state or national level, some deaths may not be counted, which health officials say is rare.
Deaths among people with COVID-19 is now also reported by date, starting with March 9, 2020 in a bar chart showing a few days over 30 in November.
Also new is COVID-19 cases among long term care residents and deaths among long term care residents. As of Wednesday, 2,926 COVID-19 cases and 632 deaths of long term care residents have been reported.
Below is the CDC guidance on COVID-19 death reporting.