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July 28, 2020 (Williamson County, TX – Williamson County will no longer be issuing press releases giving ages and genders of residents who die due to COVID-19 as reported by the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD). The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is now using death certificates, instead of local health district reports, to count COVID-19 fatalities. This standardizes death reporting across the state, but 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 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. 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.
The information on number of deaths will still be available on the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) dashboard at http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php. The WCCHD offers a COVID-19 Update that is emailed Monday through Friday. Subscribe to receive these updates from the dashboard page.
To view the DSHS state dashboard, click here: https://bit.ly/3be7qbJ