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Alameda County’s new COVID death toll is 25% lower than thought

County health officials reviewed COVID-19 death records and found 411 cases that were ‘clearly not’ caused by the disease.

By Brian Krans | 4 June 2021

THE OAKLANDSIDE

A quarter of all deaths previously attributed to COVID-19 in Alameda County weren’t actually caused by the coronavirus, the Alameda County Public Health Department announced today.

That puts the county’s new official COVID-19 death toll at 1,223, down from 1,634.

The 25% decrease—or 411 cases—is due to the fact that COVID “wasn’t a direct cause” of death in these cases, according to county health officials.

County officials decided to revise the numbers after they reviewed guidance from the California Department of Public Health about how to classify deaths as being caused by COVID-19. The new count more accurately reflects how many people died as a direct result of, or complications from, a COVID-19 infection.

“There are definitely people who died from reasons that were clearly not caused by COVID,” said Neetu Balram, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Public Health Department. […]

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