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Texas Downgrades COVID-19 Deaths After ‘Automation Error’

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The Texas Department of State Health Services revealed this week that an “automation error” in a new method of reporting COVID-19 deaths led to hundreds of people being mistakenly reported as having died of the coronavirus.

The statistical error put 225 fatalities on the state’s COVID-19 related death toll. A local Texas NBC affiliate stated: “On July 27, the state said 675 deaths were being added to the list of those killed by COVID-19 and that the increase was due to a change in reporting method that relied on death certificates rather than reports from various public health departments.

According to the data changes from Texas DSHS and posted by NBC Dallas Fort Worth:

The state health department then revised the death totals published those days as follows:

  • June 27 — changed from 5,713 to 5,489, +451 instead of +675
  • June 28 — changed from 5,877 to 5,650, +161 instead of +164
  • June 29 — changed from 6,190 to 5,952, +302 instead of +313

On Thursday, the state said another 322 Texans had died after contracting the virus when they reported the state’s death total reached 6,274.

The Texas DSHS stated in a Tweet that it has corrected the “COVID-19 fatality counts for the week of July 27.”

“An automation error caused 225 fatalities to be included even though COVID-19 was not listed as a direct cause of the death on the death certificate,” it stated.

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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