UPDATE | W.Va. DHHR releases list of facilities with unreported COVID-19 deaths

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 11:16 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 5:24 PM EST

UPDATE 3/12/21 @ 11:43 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has a correction to the number of deaths that went unreported.

On Friday, the DHHR says Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had been listed with two deaths, but through the quality assurance process two individuals were determined to have recovered from COVID-19 at the time of death. Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center now has zero deaths not properly reported.

The DHHR also says another death was determined to be a duplicate as it was listed with the first name as the last name on the death report. This death was listed as occurring at Berkeley Medical Center. This facility now has zero deaths not properly reported. DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health will be investigating each instance of non-reported deaths to determine what occurred.

This brings the number of deaths down from 168 to 165.

UPDATE 3/10/21 @ 3:42 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has released the list of over 65 healthcare facilities that didn’t follow COVID-19 death reporting protocols.

The DHHR says their bi-weekly data match revealed 168 coronavirus-related deaths that were not reported.

“These reporting protocols were established early in the pandemic and we’ve continued to remind facilities of these requirements,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “This practice is totally unacceptable, and these facilities must do better for the people of West Virginia.”

Officials say 84% of the deaths were from December 2020 and January 2021, which fits the standard timeframe in death certificate reporting.

“DHHR will continue to assure that the data provided to the public and others is accurate and complete to the extent possible,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Our commitment to transparency has not changed and we reaffirm that commitment again today.”

Governor Jim Justice says he will honor the following who died on Friday, March 12:

  • Acuity Specialty Hospital: 3
  • Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital: 2
  • Berkeley Medical Center: 1
  • Bowers Hospice House: 1
  • Brightwood: 1
  • C.A.M.C - Teays Valley: 6
  • C.A.M.C. - General Division: 1
  • C.A.M.C. - Memorial Division: 8
  • WVU Medicine Camden-Clark Medical Center Memorial Campus: 12
  • Cameron Nursing and Rehab Center: 1
  • Cedar Ridge Nursing Home: 1
  • Continuous Care: 1
  • Davis Medical Center: 2
  • Decedent’s home: 25
  • E A Hawse Nursing and Rehab: 3
  • Eagle Pointe Nursing Home: 3
  • Eldercare Health and Rehab: 1
  • Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center: 1
  • Elmcroft of Teays Valley: 1
  • Evergreen Assisted Living: 1
  • Genesis Health Care Sistersville Center: 1
  • Genesis of White Sulphur Springs Center: 2
  • Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center: 1
  • Greenbrier Valley Medical Center: 4
  • Hospice House at CAMC: 1
  • Hospice House of Huntington: 3
  • Hospice of the Panhandle: 1
  • Hubbard Hospice House: 2
  • Hubbard Hospice House West: 3
  • Madison Nursing and Rehab: 2
  • Maples Nursing Home: 2
  • Mercer Nursing Home: 1
  • Mon Health Medical Center: 3
  • Monongalia General Hospital: 1
  • Ohio Valley Health Care: 1
  • Pierpont Center at Fairmont Campus: 1
  • Pine Ridge Health Care Center: 2
  • Potomac Valley Hospital: 1
  • Princeton Community Hospital: 2
  • Raleigh General Hospital: 3
  • Ravenswood Care Center: 1
  • Reynolds Memorial Hospital: 5
  • Ruby Memorial Hospital: 9
  • Select Specialty Hospital: 3
  • Sistersville Health Care Center: 1
  • St. Francis Hospital: 1
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center: 5
  • Stonerise The Brier: 1
  • Sweetbriar of Dunbar: 1
  • The Stone Pear Pavilion: 1
  • The Willows Center: 1
  • The Wyngate: 1
  • Thomas Memorial Hospital: 2
  • Tygart Center: 2
  • VA Medical Center: 1
  • Valley Center: 1
  • Veterans Hospital-Harrison County: 1
  • Veterans Hospital-Wayne County: 1
  • Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation: 2
  • Weirton Geriatric Center: 1
  • Weirton Medical Center: 4
  • Wheeling Hospital: 5
  • Worthington Healthcare Center: 3
  • WV Caring Hospice Center: 1
  • Mount Olive Correctional Center: 2
  • Total: 168

Jim Kaufman, president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association (WVHA), released the following statement regarding the unreported COVID-19 related deaths by hospitals:

“Like others in West Virginia, today we learned of unreported COVID-19 related deaths by hospitals and other facilities across the State. It is unfortunate that this reporting error occurred during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in December and January.

“The process the State has put in place that led to today’s announcement demonstrates the close partnership between the state and hospitals in responding to this pandemic. Today’s announcement provides an important opportunity to ensure accurate reporting in the future.

“We thank our healthcare workers for their hard work and express sympathy to the families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.”

ORIGINAL STORY 3/10/21

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has learned 70 health care facilities in West Virginia have not reported all COVID-related deaths, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday.

“There is no excuse for this,” said Gov. Justice during the press briefing. “Totally unacceptable in every way.”

The governor says he believes 168 COVID-related deaths have gone unreported.

Gov. Justice says the deaths occurred in homes, hospice care, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“I’ll dig and push our people to dig in every way to get to the very bottom of this.” said Governor Justice.

Gov. Justice said Wednesday he believes half of the unreported deaths happened at hospitals.

Two of the unreported deaths were inmates, Gov. Justice said.

The inmates who tested positive were transported to hospitals and their deaths were not reported.

The governor plans to honor all of these West Virginians who died from COVID-19 complications on Friday.

The State Health Officer, Dr. Anye Amjad, says the deaths were reported to the DHHR late on Friday. Officials say the facilities weren’t reporting deaths according to policies that were set in April of 2020.

These deaths became apparent to the DHHR once death certificates came to the vital registration endpoint, according to Dr. Amjad.

“We do understand there is a time lag when there is a surge in the state, however, we have this protocols in place that are pretty easy to follow that we have been encouraging facilities to participate in and have been reminding them of such. Right now, we are very disappointed that these facilities have not done this accurately,” said Dr. Amjad.

According to Dr. Amjad, this reporting was done on a biweekly data match with the Health Statistics Center and Bureau for Public Health. This catches all the data for COVID-19 deaths and death certificates. Officials say this time frame will changed from biweekly to a weekly data match.

Dr. Amjad says death reporting comes in a timely manner, but death certificates take longer. Death certificates take six to eight weeks to be reported into the system, which is why they use the death reporting system.

Officials also announced that a person answering the COVID-19 call line (1-800-887-4304) has been removed following complaints that the individual wasn’t answering questions properly.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

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