Iowa has started tracking the COVID-19 deaths of people who were diagnosed with the virus but not tested, a change that could add hundreds more deaths to the state’s count.
Iowa Department of Public Health Interim Director Kelly Garcia said Tuesday that Iowa now accepts clinical diagnoses from doctors and not just positive virus tests when attributing a death to coronavirus.
The change removed 433 deaths from the system but added 610, providing an initial net gain of 177 deaths and raising the state’s toll to 2,898. Some of the removed cases could be added back in once the proper coding methodology is applied.
Iowa posted another 35 deaths from coronavirus on Monday, continuing the high level of deaths related to the pandemic. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from 29 deaths per day on Nov. 22 to 45 deaths per day on Sunday.