UPDATE: Health officals revise number of unreported COVID-19 deaths to 165

West Virginia

UPDATE: 10 a.m. Friday, March 12: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has revised the number of unreported deaths from 168 to 165.

The WV DHHR says further investigation and the quality assurance process determined two individuals at the Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had recovered from COVID-19 at the time of their deaths. Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center now has zero deaths not properly reported. Another death that occurred at Berkeley Medical Center on the list was determined as a duplicate of a reported death as the first name had been listed as the last name on the report. That facility also now has no improperly reported deaths.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says more than 160 COVID-19 related deaths went unreported by 70 health care facilities around the state. State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad, M.D. says those facilities span across 30 counties.

“I don’t get it. I don’t get this at all. This is absolutely unacceptable…. That’s terrible,” Justice said.

The governor says 168 deaths related to COVID-19, including some West Virginians who passed away at home, went previously unreported by hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, hospice, and two from jail facilities that were transported to hospitals. At least half of that number is through hospitals, according to Justice and Amjad.

“I don’t know how our people could just let this go.”

WV Gov. Jim Justice.

Amjad says the facilities did not follow the protocols for reporting COVID-19 related deaths, which were set in April 2020. She says the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources learned about these deaths when the death certificates started coming to the organization’s vital registration endpoint.

“Right now we are very disappointed that these facilities have not done this accurately,” Amjad said.

Amjad says the state will be reaching out to those facilities to help them facilitate the issue.

Justice says state health officials will be working to get to the bottom of the issue. The governor says he will read all of these deaths during his next briefing planned for Friday, March 12.

Wednesday evening, Jim Kaufman, president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association, released the following statement regarding the unreported deaths at hospitals:

Like others in West Virginia, today we learned of unreported COVID-19 related deaths by hospitals and other facilities across the State. It is unfortunate that this reporting error occurred during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in December and January.

The process the State has put in place that led to today’s announcement demonstrates the close partnership between the state and hospitals in responding to this pandemic. Today’s announcement provides an important opportunity to ensure accurate reporting in the future.

We thank our healthcare workers for their hard work and express sympathy to the families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

Jim Kaufman, president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association

The following deaths will be reported on the COVID-19 dashboard on Friday, March 12.

Acuity Specialty Hospital3
Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital2
Berkeley Medical Center0*
Bowers Hospice House1
Brightwood1
C.A.M.C – Teays Valley6
C.A.M.C. – General Division1
C.A.M.C. – Memorial Division8
Camden-Clark Medical Center Memorial Campus12
Cameron Nursing and Rehab Center1
Cedar Ridge Nursing Home1
Continuous Care1
Davis Medical Center2
Decedent’s home25
E A Hawse Nursing and Rehab3
Eagle Pointe Nursing Home3
Eldercare Health and Rehab1
Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center1
Elmcroft of Teays Valley1
Evergreen Assisted Living1
Genesis Health Care Sistersville Center1
Genesis of White Sulphur Springs Center2
Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center1
Greenbrier Valley Medical Center4
Hospice House at CAMC1
Hospice House of Huntington3
Hospice of the Panhandle1
Hubbard Hospice House2
Hubbard Hospice House West3
Madison Nursing and Rehab2
Maples Nursing Home2
Mercer Nursing Home1
Mon Health Medical Center3
Monongalia General Hospital1
Ohio Valley Health Care1
Pierpont Center at Fairmont Campus1
Pine Ridge Health Care Center2
Potomac Valley Hospital1
Princeton Community Hospital2
Raleigh General Hospital3
Ravenswood Care Center1
Reynolds Memorial Hospital5
Ruby Memorial Hospital9
Select Specialty Hospital3
Sistersville Health Care Center1
St. Francis Hospital1
St. Mary’s Medical Center5
Stonerise The Brier1
Sweetbriar of Dunbar1
The Stone Pear Pavilion1
The Willows Center1
The Wyngate1
Thomas Memorial Hospital2
Tygart Center2
VA Medical Center1
Valley Center1
Veterans Hospital-Harrison County1
Veterans Hospital-Wayne County1
Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation0*
Weirton Geriatric Center1
Weirton Medical Center4
Wheeling Hospital5
Worthington Healthcare Center3
WV Caring Hospice Center1
Mount Olive Correctional Center2
Total165
*It has been determined the two originally unreported deaths Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation had recovered from COVID-19 prior to their deaths and the virus was not a factor in the deaths of those two individuals. The unreported death at Berkeley Medical Center has been determined to be a duplicate of another reported death. Both of these facilities now have zero improperly reported deaths. The total of previously unreported deaths drops to 165.

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