Metro Health reports large difference in state's COVID-19 deaths data for Davidson Co.

Posted at 8:49 PM, Mar 01, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials announced a large discrepancy between the number of COVID-19-related deaths they're reporting and the number of deaths in Davidson County being reported by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).

According to MPHD 633 people in Davidson County have died, but according to the state, 861 people have died from COVID-19.

In a press release, Brian Todd with MPHD explained the process of reporting deaths, saying it is a manual process, including emailed death reports.

"As deaths increased during the winter surge, that manual process was overburdened and the MPHD data became inconsistent with TDH. MPHD has added quality controls to ensure any differences are reviewed immediately. There will always be some difference in these counts as we continue to review deaths, but the number going forward will be much smaller than it is now," the release stated.

Officials say a small difference between the two entities' reports will be expected because additional steps are taken by MPHD epidemiologists to investigate and determine if the individual was a Davidson County resident or a resident of another county who died in Davidson County.

Epidemiologists also confirm the cause of death as COVID. Only those identified as COVID deaths among Davidson County residents are included in MPHD’s data report.

MPHD officials say they will work to continue reconciling the difference over the next 10 days through the same review process as before. They expect the difference to return to a minimal level after that process.