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Spike in Missouri virus deaths due to reporting delays, health director says

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Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, leaves for lunch on the first day of hearings between Planned Parenthood and the department on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at the Wainwright State Office Building in St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri health officials reported 30 new COVID-19 deaths Thursday, up from 15 the day before, but the state’s health director said the spike was due to reporting delays.

The toll was the highest reported in a single day since May 12, when the state reported 36 deaths, according to a Post-Dispatch data analysis .

SOURCE: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Due to a delay, the increase in deaths on April 24 also includes deaths that occurred between April 12-22. The increase in deaths on May 5 also includes deaths that occurred between May 1-3.

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“Even though they’re supposed to be reported in 24 hours … that has not been the case,” state health director Randall Williams told reporters Thursday. “Thirty deaths are 30 deaths no matter when they happen, and we lament all those.”

He said there is about a three-week lag between new cases and deaths resulting from those cases.“Sadly, those 30 deaths represent new cases that were from three to four weeks ago,” Williams said. He said a large number of people who are placed on ventilators die, “and many of them, the average time they’re on those ventilators can be 14 to 17 days.”He said that in order to decrease the number of deaths, the state needs to prevent infections in the first place. He said the average […]

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