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How does B.C. count its COVID-19 death toll?

Last Updated Aug 11, 2020 at 8:53 am PDT

The emergency department entrance to St. Paul's Hospital is shown in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Thursday, March 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

B.C. includes those who have died directly and indirectly from COVID-19 in its official death toll

People who die from blood clots weeks after recovering counted among coronavirus victims

Only unrelated deaths, such as infected car-crash victims, excluded from tally

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Question:

Donald: “If a person dies of anything but is determined to be positive for the COVID-19 virus, [is] that person’s death included in the coronavirus death totals?”

Answer:

If COVID-19 contributes to someone’s death, they will be added to the official tally, regardless of whether they died directly from the infection or from complications caused by the virus.

“If the clinician or coroner indicates COVID is at least one of the causes of death, then it is included,” Ministry of Health spokesperson Paula Smith said.

B.C. has added “several” deaths attributed to COVID-19 from patients who had recovered from the infection but later died from complications such as a blood clot in the lungs, she said.

Smith said there are few scenarios in which someone would die while infected with COVID-19 and not be added to the official coronavirus death toll.

“The only scenario where it may not be included would be something like someone positive for COVID goes outside and gets hit by a car and the injuries from the car crash causes their death,” she said.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 5, B.C. had recorded 195 COVID-19 related deaths.

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