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Nov 23, 2021

COVID and COVID-related deaths; Distinguishing Between the Two

COVID deaths and COVID-related deaths: we see and hear the terms every day, but many use them interchangeably and don’t know how COVID deaths are determined and classified. News Five asked Deputy Manager for the Central Health Region, Doctor Melissa Musa to differentiate between the two.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Deputy Manager, Central Health Region

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“When somebody dies – even if they’ve already tested negative – so if somebody has been hospitalized for twenty-one days, let’s say, and by the time the test is repeated that person has tested negative for COVID-19 but that person has died from complications of COVID-19, that death will still be classified as a COVID death. If it’s been a long time since the person has been diagnosed with COVID and it’s nothing related to that direct infection, you would not then classify that person as a COVID death. The difference comes in when somebody dies from a completely different diagnosis, or let’s say from a road traffic accident or from a gunshot wound or any other cause not related to COVID-19 and the person is swabbed and the swab comes back positive for COVID, that person will not be placed as a COVID death because COVID-19 had no correlation or no cause or didn’t add or contribute in any way to the death of that person.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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