Washington State Department of Health releases updated COVID-19 death numbers, 39 removed


OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health has released a new death report showing how many people are confirmed to have died from COVID-19.

In June, the DOH said they would start separating death counts into categories for more clarity. Deaths are now being categorized under Confirmed, Suspect, Non-Covid, Pending and Probable.

Deaths are categorized as “probable” when the death certificate identifies COVID-19 as the cause or contributor to death but there is not a known positive test for the virus. “Pending” refers to an incomplete death certificate. “Suspect” deaths refer to COVID-positive people who died of natural causes and whose death certificate doesn’t mention the virus. Non-Covid refers to people that have tested positive for COVID-19 but died from something unrelated – like suicide or an overdose.

The “confirmed” group makes up about 89% of COVID-19 deaths reported in the state.

According to the Tuesday DOH report, there have been 1,458 deaths of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, but only 1,301 of those deaths have been confirmed to be caused by COVID-19.

DOH has been removing deaths from the official tally when it determined COVID-19 was not the primary cause. Most recently, 39 were removed.