Eric Douglas Published

Investigation Into Missing COVID Deaths Completed

Gov. Jim Justice gives an update on coronavirus response and alerts in a virtual briefing with media and citizens on March 24, 2020.

Gov. Jim Justice announced another round of unreported deaths in Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing.

The Department of Health and Human Resources discovered another 35 COVID-19 related deaths had gone unreported, adding to the more than 200 deaths discovered since early March, Justice said.

The DHHR has conducted an investigation into the reporting error. Despite the governor’s dismay at the undercount, he said the investigation determined there was no intention to report incorrect data.

You don’t have anybody that is out there that is purposefully doing something that we can get our hands on right now,” Justice said.

The governor explained that the state had not implemented an electronic tracking system for COVID-19 deaths and had used a system that tracked death certificates. But delays in that paper system were the root of the problem in reporting these deaths. He indicated that would change.

So far, 2,676 people in West Virginia have died from COVID-19.

The report is now available on the Governor’s website.