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VOL. 45 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 24, 2021

Tennessee adjusts COVID death toll up to more than 20,600

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say a review has led them to adjust the state's number of COVID-19 deaths to 20,644, up by about 2,700.

On Wednesday, Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters the review precedes a change in COVID-19 death count standards by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists beginning in January.

She said the additional deaths occurred throughout the pandemic, with about 70% largely linked to the delta variant surge and occurring since Aug. 1.

She says some factors in lagging data include manual death reporting by many health care providers and an increase in deaths at home, which often trigger investigations.

Piercey says the department is encouraging providers to use immediate reporting methods and is looking into reasons why at-home deaths are increasing, for COVID-19 and other reasons.

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