Pennsylvania removes ‘probable deaths’ from state coronavirus counts

Written by on April 24, 2020

Pennsylvania removes ‘probable deaths’ from state coronavirus counts

April 24, 2020

Photo | Michele Abercrombie/NPR

In a rapid about-face, the Pennsylvania Health Department will no longer include probable cases in its COVID-19 death totals.

Health officials had announced they would include those fatalities in state tallies earlier this week.

Probable deaths refer to those who died without a positive test, requiring further investigation to either confirm or rule out the disease as the cause.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine says the fluidity of those numbers made including unconfirmed cases confusing.

“We continue to refine the data to provide everyone this information in as near time as we possibly can. This is really difficult with thousands of reports each day,” said Levine. The department is reporting more than 1,400 total deaths as of yesterday—about 200 fewer than Wednesday because probable deaths are no longer included.


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