The Georgia Department of Public Health issued a Daily Status Report at 3 p.m. on Saturday eliminating 21 deaths from its cumulative list of deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The result, according to the report, was a drop in the number of deaths in the state from the disease from 2,174 to 2,160 on Saturday.
Three hours later, the Department of Public Health issued a second report, adding back 18 of those 21 eliminated deaths, and reporting that the number of deaths had increased by four from the day before.
The Department of Public Health gave an explanation for the reissued report that belies the changes it actually made to the initial listing of deaths from COVID-19 in the state.
The change and the revision to the list of deaths in the Daily Status Report had no impact on the data for the 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties.
No new deaths attributable to COVID-19 were reported in the Northeast Health District either in the initial or corrected Daily Status Report on Saturday, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths dropped from 2.7 on Friday to 2.4 on Saturday
The Northeast Health District added only nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the Saturday report, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 26.9 on Friday to 23.1 on Saturday.
The Department of Community Affairs did not issue a Long-Term Care Facility report on Saturday, and, as of late on Saturday, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency had not yet released its Situation Report COVID-19 for Saturday.
The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report listed 688 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with its 3 p.m. release, and the seven-day rolling average of confirmed cases increased to 717.6 on Saturday from 707.3 at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The initial release of the report gave no explanation for the drop of 14 in the number of cumulative deaths attributed to COVID-19.
A cumulative figure can decline only if cases are taken away.
Each day I record the data behind the chart in the Daily Status Report that shows deaths by date of occurrence. I do this by moving the curser along the data points and entering the figures in a spreadsheet.
The Daily Status Report has never before listed a decrease in the cumulative number of deaths, though my monitoring has shown that cases are redated and moved around routinely.
Two Saturday Reports Compared
In the first report on Saturday, the Department of Public Health eliminated 21 deaths from its list and added seven new deaths, for a net loss of 14 cases.
In the revised report issued three hours later, 18 of those 21 eliminated cases were added back into the date file. With the seven new cases already added in the 3 p.m. report, the net gain in cases was now four.
The Department of Public Health offered this explanation for the updated report.
“*As of 6:15 PM, the number of deaths has been corrected following eliminating duplicate death reports and inclusion of newly reported deaths.”
In fact, all indications are that the new report did not eliminate any duplicate death reports. Instead it added back in 18 reports it had eliminated earlier.
The new report also did not add any new cases.
All five of the graphics below are based on data from the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report.
Charts 1 and 2 include data for the 10-county Northeast Health District.
Charts 3 through 5 are for the entire state of Georgia.
|Chart 1 (Click To Enlarge)|
|Chart 2 (Click To Enlarge)|
|Chart 3 (Click To Enlarge)|
|Chart 4 (Click To Enlarge)|
|Chart 5 (Click To Enlarge)|