RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health has started to observe an increase in COVID-19 related deaths due to a surge of omicron variant cases.
VDH’s cases dashboard has now begun to reflect these deaths. According to VDH officials, the majority of the COVID-19-associated deaths (92%) that will be added occurred in January.
“Those deaths will also appear on the VDH Localities dashboard, but since Localities shows deaths by date of report, rather than by date of death, that dashboard should not be used to evaluate any trend in the pattern of deaths over time,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene. “As noted above, most of the deaths that appear on the Localities dashboard this week actually occurred in January and earlier, so please use the Cases dashboard for looking at patterns and trends.”
Health officials say COVID-19 death trends should only be evaluated when viewing the data on the cases dashboard by “date of death” and not by “date of report.”
VDH says an increase in deaths reported currently is due to the surge in cases being reported due to the Omicron variant and the natural delay between onset of illness to death. They also say it is due to the time it takes for the National Center of Health Statistics to review and assign appropriate codes to Virginia death certificates before they are sent back to VDH.
For more information on how VDH counts COVID-19-Associated Deaths, click here.