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SLO County removes one previously reported coronavirus death from total

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is investigating one previously reported COVID-19 death and has revised the county's death count numbers.

The county has removed one death from the county totals while public health investigates the circumstances of this previously reported death.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in San Luis Obispo County was reduced from 16 to 15.

“We looked further into all reported COVID-19 related deaths because it became known that the circumstances of at least one case was not as clear as the others,” said San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “This pandemic is ever-evolving, and we will continue to refine our information as we learn more.” 

The public health department said that one death of a person living at the Vineyard Hills Health Center in Templeton may not have been directly related to COVID-19.

"After further investigation, Public Health officials reclassified one death because it was determined that while COVID-19 may have contributed to their demise, it was not an underlying cause of death as originally thought," the public health department said in a press release.

Officials said the person was already in the "final stages of dying" at the time of their positive COVID-19 test.

The County Public Health Department says it will continue to classify a COVID-19 case as a COVID-19 death only if COVID-19 is listed on a death certificate as an underlying cause of death. The county says this is the national standard for reporting deaths.

"In deaths where it is unclear if COVID-19 may have contributed to that person’s demise, those cases will not be listed as a COVID-19 death," the public health department said.

As of Thursday, there are 2,047 positive COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County. For a complete breakdown of coronavirus cases in the county, click here.

Health / San Luis Obispo County

Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.