Tarrant County addresses unreported COVID-19 deaths; Texas prepares for next phase of vaccination

Tarrant County reports 265 previously unreported COVID-19 related deaths on Dec. 21. Meanwhile, the state of Texas announces the people eligible for the next phase of the vaccine distribution are those over the age of 65 and those with medical conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Tarrant County reports 265 previously unreported COVID-19 related deaths on Dec. 21. Meanwhile, the state of Texas announces the people eligible for the next phase of the vaccine distribution are those over the age of 65 and those with medical conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Tarrant County reports 265 previously unreported COVID-19 related deaths on Dec. 21. Meanwhile, the state of Texas announces the people eligible for the next phase of the vaccine distribution are those over the age of 65 and those with medical conditions. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Tarrant County reported 265 COVID-19 related deaths on Dec. 21 previously unreported as a result of a change in the Texas Department of State Health Services’ methodology.

In a press release, Tarrant County announced they would be adding 265 COVID-19 deaths to their dashboard. The adjustment comes after the county began the process of reconciling vital records data from DSHS against reported deaths and COVID-19 cases.

In July, DSHS switched its methodology of reporting COVID-19 deaths from reporting them based upon a notification provided by healthcare providers to based on the cause of death listed on the death certificate.

As a result, 265 deaths from 1,000 reviewed records were not reported between April and November 2020. All but 25 had underlying health conditions. Due to this adjustment, Tarrant County now reports 1,362 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus, and 97,352 people recovered as of Dec. 21.

In Colleyville, three deaths were found. In Grapevine, eight deaths were found and one was found in Southlake. In Keller, 13 deaths went unreported, and 97 in Fort Worth.


The announcement comes after Tarrant County completed its first week of vaccine distribution. Among the hospitals having received allocations of the Pfizer vaccine are Baylor Scott and White Health - Grapevine and JPS Health. Frontline healthcare workers were among the first to receive the vaccination.

On Dec. 21, DSHS announced Phase 1B of the vaccination program which will include people 65 and over as well as individuals over the age of 16 with certain medical conditions. These conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.

The U.S Census Bureau estimates 10.7% of the total county population are over the age of 65 and that 22.2% of the total county population has a disability and is considered at-risk.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit communityimpact.com/coronavirus.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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