Shawnee County Health Department discusses new coronavirus numbers


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – There is an additional 26 deaths in Shawnee County from coronavirus, which brings the total to 60. The Shawnee County Health Department made this announcement today, but they said it’s not a result of a sudden increase in deaths from recent days.

“It rather reflects a more accurate count of deaths that have occurred during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Craig Barnes, a spokesperson for the health department.

He referred to them as ‘provisional deaths’ which are deaths within 30 days of a laboratory-confirmed coronavirus diagnosis, unless the death is shown to be due to unrelated causes.

Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, the top doctor in charge at the Shawnee County Health Department, discussed these new numbers with county commissioners. Commissioners were concerned because they want accurate data recorded and they were confused by the additional deaths.

“There’s no way for us to learn that those deaths occurred so I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that we don’t know how to count,” Pezzino said.

Shawnee County health officials say they are being as transparent as possible with the public, which is why they’re working to present the most accurate numbers across the county.

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