Rise in deaths is a statistical bump, not a new surge of Covid

Health officials warn of a statistical "catch-up" at the end of the year

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) – The end of the year is bringing a surge in deaths for our area and Tennessee in general.

But health officials say it’s just a statistical bump, not a real one.

Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says states are being asked to alter how they report deaths in January.

And they are also clearing a backlog of statistical data from the delta surge in the process.

She says they have bumped up the number of deaths across Tennessee for 2021 by almost three thousand.

And Hamilton County officials say several of those “new” deaths are in our area. They updated the number today.

They say most of them happened since August 1st.

Dr. Piercey says reporting deaths can be slow and has been getting slower.

She says about 75% of deaths are reported to them 8 weeks after they happen.

Dr. Piercey says it is getting more difficult to count the numbers because more people are dying at home during the pandemic, not in an institution.  That slows the reporting down.

She says that trend in 2021 is in both Covid and non-Covid cases.

The bottom line is we’re going to see the Covid death count jump up this week and next, but they are old cases, not new ones.

Categories: COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News