Maui Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i Health Department Records Review Reveals 60 Previously Unreported COVID-19 Related Deaths

January 25, 2021, 12:53 PM HST
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Dr. Libby Char. File Photo Courtesy: Office of Governor David Ige / State of Hawai’i.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health has identified and confirmed 60 previously unreported COVID-19 related deaths. These deaths were linked to COVID-19 after what health officials call a “thorough review of the DOH Electronic Death Registration System.”

The deaths occurred in August through December, 2020 with 51 deaths reported on O‘ahu, six on Hawai‘i and three on Maui.

A COVID-19 related death may not be identified by DOH if the individual passes away after their monitoring period with DOH has been completed and their healthcare provider did not report the death.

The DOH explains: “Unreported deaths can be identified by EDRS if the underlying cause is listed as COVID-19 on the death certificate. However, reviewing death certificates can be a time-intensive process resulting in significant lags.”

“Our close inspection of death certificates not only revealed 60 previously unreported deaths. It also uncovered flaws that led to delays in the current reporting system,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “We are implementing changes to the process that will improve the timeliness of COVID-19 death reporting.”

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Despite these newly identified deaths, Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 death rate remains among the lowest in the United States.

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