US Department of Health Officially ENDs Daily Recording of COVID Deaths After Toll Surpasses 900,000
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) no longer requires hospital systems to report daily COVID-19 deaths to the federal government.
The policy change, which was announced in January, took effect last Wednesday, just days before the US death toll topped 900,000.
Some health officials are calling the movement “incomprehensible”, alleging that hospital data has, over the past two years, “changed the response to the pandemic for the better”.
“Hospitals have been doing this for two years,” a federal health official told the WSWS, on condition of anonymity.
“This is the only consistent, reliable and actionable data set at the federal level. Ninety-nine percent of hospitals report one hundred percent of the data every day.
Although hospitals will no longer need To report COVID-19 deaths from the previous day to the federal government each day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to collect and report COVID data from official death certificates.
The CDC also notes that death data reported by hospitals to HHS “is not a data source owned by the CDC and does not impact our reporting.”
The organization instead compiles its numbers from death certificate reports sent to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), with officials reiterating ‘there have been no changes to CDC data sources‘ .
On the same day HHS stopped collecting figures, the UK government announced plans to end its reporting of the death toll by April.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (pictured) no longer requires hospital systems to report daily COVID-19 deaths to the federal government
On Sunday, the United States reported 902,266 coronavirus deaths, an increase of 875 and a seven-day average of 2,455, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.
The US tally marks an increase of more than 100,000 deaths nationwide since Dec. 12, coinciding with an increase in infections and hospitalizations caused by the Omicron variant.
The country also reported 104,104 new cases, bringing the total to 76,458,144. The US seven-day case average was 313,028.
Nationally, the daily average of confirmed COVID cases is half of what was reported less than two weeks ago and down from the peak of nearly 806,000 daily infections on January 15.
Reuters analysts allege US death count is the highest number of COVID deaths reported by any country, followed by Russia, Brazil and India with more than 1.8 million deaths combined. In terms of coronavirus deaths per capita, the United States ranks 20th, well below the top two – Peru and Russia.
About 212,657,682 Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, representing 64.79% of the population.
On Sunday, the United States reported 902,266 coronavirus deaths, an increase of 875 and a seven-day average of 2,455, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins
The country also reported 104,104 new cases, bringing the total to 76,458,144. The US seven-day case average was 313,028
US death toll is the highest number of COVID deaths reported by any country, analysts say
Although the CDC’s collection of death data continues, some health officials say the information provided by US hospitals is more reliable and more beneficial to researchers.
“The CDC has never really counted cases of things that a lot of people get like the flu,” the health official said. “They get data from sentinel sites and then extrapolate what’s going on.”
“Hospitalization data from HHS is now the best and most granular publicly available data on the pandemic. This information has improved the response to the pandemic,” echoed Alexis C. Madrigal, co-founder of the COVID Tracking Project.
“There was no hospital data at the federal level and even in many states. We had no idea who had capacity, who had issues, who had supply shortages, who was getting admissions so quickly they would need extra medication, who had staffing issues, etc. We also didn’t know about people being admitted in a timely manner, such as age.
Although hospitals no longer need to report COVID-19 deaths from the previous day to the federal government each day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to collect COVID data from official death certificates. .
Some health officials call the move ‘incomprehensible’, alleging hospital data has, over the past two years, ‘changed the pandemic response for the better’
However, American Hospital Association Vice President Nancy Foster says the CDC reports are actually superior to hospital data because they take into account deaths that occurred outside of the hospital setting.
“While it’s likely that most people who die of COVID do so in a hospital, some die at home, in a nursing home or elsewhere,” Foster told KXTV.
‘We believe the CDC reviewed conflicting data sources on COVID deaths, chose the one that was most accurate, and decided to reduce the burden on hospitals to collect less complete and, to our knowledge, unused data. .’
Nevertheless, the official who spoke to the WSWS claimed that the HHS dataset “is standardized for a specific hospital and can it be compared to other data such as capacity, number of admissions, the age of admissions, the number of ICUs, the number of ventilations and the number of deaths – not just for COVID but also for flu (which we never got a good idea of on this scale).
The CDC said the initial daily death count was “provisional” and “slowly updated over time,” with reports of deaths often lagging one to two weeks behind other data collected.
The health authority attributed the delay to the time it takes for death certificates to be completed, the differing rates at which states report death certificate data, and the time it takes for the NCHS to code deaths due. to COVID-19.