Texas Dept. of State Health Services now using death certificates to count COVID-19 fatalities

This change standardizes death reporting across the state but will cause the number of deaths on the Williamson County dashboard to be out of sync with the Texas DSHS count until the WCCHD fully transitions to the DSHS reporting method, which will happen later this week. (Community Impact staff)
This change standardizes death reporting across the state but will cause the number of deaths on the Williamson County dashboard to be out of sync with the Texas DSHS count until the WCCHD fully transitions to the DSHS reporting method, which will happen later this week. (Community Impact staff)

This change standardizes death reporting across the state but will cause the number of deaths on the Williamson County dashboard to be out of sync with the Texas DSHS count until the WCCHD fully transitions to the DSHS reporting method, which will happen later this week. (Community Impact staff)

The Williamson County and Cities Health District reported 67 new coronavirus cases July 28, bringing the total to 5,433.

Currently, 62 patients are hospitalized, 35 are in intensive care and 25 are on a ventilator. The WCCHD also reported 22% of hospital beds, 16% of ICU beds and 58% of ventilators are available.

According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 100 county deaths.

On July 28, the county announced it will no longer be issuing press releases giving ages and genders of residents who die due to COVID-19 as reported by the WCCHD.

The announcement further said that the Texas Department of State Health Services is now using death certificates instead of local health district reports to count COVID-19 fatalities. According to the county, this standardizes death reporting across the state, but it will cause the number of deaths on the county dashboard to be out of sync with the Texas DSHS count until the WCCHD fully transitions to the DSHS reporting method, which will happen later this week.


“Death certificates can take between a week to more than three months following a death to be issued, resulting in a lag in the count between the state and local health district,” the county said. “In counties that do not have local health departments or districts, a death certificate is the only method to verify a death attributed to COVID-19, causing an increase in numbers under the new reporting system.”

Reported deaths are of confirmed cases who died because of their COVID-19 illness or complications thereof, either as a cause of death or a significant contributing factor in the death, per the dashboard.

Of the total cases, 4,780 have recovered, and there are 553 active cases.

However, recoveries are not reported to the state’s contact tracing and data system; therefore, recovery information is not absolute and is to be used for estimating purposes only, according to the WCCHD website. No trends or other inferences should be drawn from this data, as the numbers posted represent a point-in-time snapshot and may fluctuate throughout the day, it said.

Here is an update on total cases in the cities of residence, including deaths and probable cases, according to the WCCHD.

  • Austin: 340

  • Cedar Park: 606

  • Georgetown: 1,020

  • Hutto: 404

  • Leander: 246

  • Round Rock: 1,896

  • Other: 726


If the WCCHD is unable to confirm the city of residence after three attempts, the case is deemed “lost to follow-up” and is not included in the above count, officials said.

Officials said the county is not legally able to release the specific counts in cities with fewer than 20,000 residents. For more information, such as gender and age breakdowns, visit the county's dashboard.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County has not had any reported human infections of West Nile Virus this year. (Courtesy Pexels)
Mosquito trap tests positive for West Nile Virus in Georgetown

This is the third mosquito trap that has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Williamson County this week. There have been no reported human infections of the virus in the county this year.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

Georgetown's 40th annual Christmas Stroll will be held Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
40th annual Georgetown Christmas Stroll kicks off holiday season in downtown square

Georgetown’s 40th annual Christmas Stroll will be held Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 in and around the city’s historic downtown square.

The Georgetown Police Department's Blue Santa program will assist a toy drive at Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home on Dec. 11. (Courtesy Photo)
Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown to host annual toy drive

Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home is accepting unwrapped presents for their second annual toy drive.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

Rendering of Tesla's Cybertruck
Tesla officially names Texas gigafactory as its new headquarters

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows the Travis County manufacturing plant as Tesla's new home base.

Georgetown Club Manager Shaun Valdez won Club Manager of the year at the annual Anytime Fitness Conference. (Courtesy Anytime Fitness)
Georgetown Anytime Fitness wins best training club award during annual conference

Georgetown Anytime Fitness won two awards at the annual Anytime Fitness conference in Dallas, TX.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

The grant will give Southwestern University the ability to fund more programs for S-STEM scholars than the university was previously able to do. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Southwestern University receives $1.5 million grant to help students pursue STEM fields

Southwestern University is receiving $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to support low-income students and students of color pursuing STEM fields.