Texas Downgrades COVID-19 Deaths After ‘Automation Error’

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.