COLUMBUS (WCMH) — During Tuesday’s briefing on coronavirus in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine repeatedly mentioned 50 Ohioans dying from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. However, according to the latest information released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), those 50 deaths didn’t all happen in one day.
The issue seems to be some confusion between the date a person dies and the date the information is reported to the state by county health departments.
According to summary data released Tuesday by ODH:
- 4/14/2020 – 5 deaths
- 4/13/2020 – 10 deaths
- 4/12/2020 – 18 deaths
- 4/11/2020 – 10 deaths
- 4/10/2020 – 15 deaths
Compare to summary data released Monday:
- 4/13/2020 – 3 deaths
- 4/12/2020 – 11 deaths
- 4/11/2020 – 5 deaths
- 4/10/2020 – 12 deaths
The data also includes deaths from earlier in the pandemic that were not previously reported.
On March 20, DeWine announced the first confirmed death in the state from COVID-19, 76-year-old Mark Wagoner, Sr., of Lucas County. Monday’s data release lists a Franklin County woman over the age of 80 as the first coronavirus death in Ohio — a day before Wagoner. Tuesday’s release adds a woman in her 70s from Cuyahoga County died another three days earlier.
Asked about the discrepancy, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said there may be a reporting lag involved.
“I don’t think people should be surprised. Deaths are going to lag infections. I think some low level of this is what we will expect,” she said.