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IDHW: COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Idaho for November

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 13:10:44-05

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) announced Thursday that COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Idaho for November, according to preliminary data collected from death certificates.

COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death from January 2020 through November 2020, according to IDHW.

“These data are concerning and clearly demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 in the worst possible way,” said Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch. “My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone they love to COVID-19. This exemplifies why it’s so important to follow the recommended COVID-19 precautions to protect ourselves and others and wear a mask, be six feet away from people who don’t live with you, wash your hands, and stay home as much as possible, especially when you are sick.”

You can find the data on Idaho's leading cause of death by clicking here. IDHW will update the data monthly. The news release from IDHW says leading causes of death are based on the underlying cause of death, which is the condition that started the events that led to death.

"COVID-19 deaths in which COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death are a subset of COVID-19 related deaths which are shown on Idaho's coronavirus.idaho.gov website, and therefore, will not match the mortality counts on the website," IDHW explained in the release.

“The data collected from death certificates provide important insight as to how causes of death relate to each other and, in this case, help us to understand the health impact of COVID-19 to Idaho citizens,” said Pam harder, data analyst in the Bureau of Vital Records and health Statistics in the Division of Public Health.

IDHW says there is no lag in time between when the death happened and when the death certificate is completed, sent to the National Center for Health Statistics to be processed for the underlying cause of death and returned to the state for reporting purposes. Around 2% of records in 2020 are pending investigation or the underlying cause is in the process of being determined for analysis, according to the release. The deaths may or may not be COVID-19.

Idaho recorded a record 1,840 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Wednesday and 391 new probable cases, for a whopping total of 2,231 new cases statewide in one day, also a new record high, according to our media partner the Idaho Statesman. 37 COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Wednesday for the state, a new record as well.

Idaho Governor Brad Little is holding a press conference on coronavirus in the state at 12 p.m. Idaho News 6 will be airing the conference on air, on our Facebook page and website. You'll also be able to find the press conference on your streaming device.