Congratulations to Florida and Governor DeSantis!For all of those Twitter warriors insist that Florida has killed more people during the “Delta” variant, I’ll just put this chart here. Both New Jersey and New York have had more deaths per 100,000 than Florida has, to date. After all of the lock downs and mandates, they still win the “Covid prize”! [LINK TO DATA]
Fact Check: No, Florida’s Recent Data Reporting Change Doesn’t Misrepresent COVID Deaths
The Miami Herald has published an investigative report about Florida’s COVID death statistics, detailing how the state is shifting its method for tabulating and making public Coronavirus deaths. Its opening sentences suggest something underhanded is afoot: “As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found.” The first expert quoted in this story pronounces the change “extremely problematic.”
Until three weeks ago, data collected by DOH and published on the CDC website counted deaths by the date they were recorded — a common method for producing daily stats used by most states. On Aug. 10, Florida switched its methodology and, along with just a handful of other states, began to tally new deaths by the date the person died.
In fact, in addition to Florida, nine other states use the “deaths by date” method, as well as Puerto Rico and New York City. California, Michigan and Tennessee use a hybrid model. All other states use the “date reported” system. Many paragraphs into the piece, the Herald quotes an epidemiologist who says tracking COVID deaths by date, as Florida now does, produces superior and more accurate data:
Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida who has been tracking the state’s COVID data, said reporting by date of death is better for long-term studies of the disease. “Deaths by date of death curve is the most accurate you can get,” Salemi said. “You know exactly when people died, you know how to construct the curve and exactly when we were experiencing surges in terms of deaths.”