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State of Texas switches to death certificate data to tally coronavirus deaths

As of Monday, Texas health officials reported 5,713 fatalities that were identified by death certificates, including 44 new deaths on Monday.
Credit: AP
Dr. Joseph Varon, right, leads a team as they try to save the life of a patient unsuccessfully inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Houston. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the second-largest state in the U.S. have more than doubled in the last two weeks. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Starting Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services will use death certificate data to keep track of coronavirus deaths in Texas, according to a news release.  

The state previously used fatality data from local and regional health departments, which was too slow of a process, according to the news release.

Death certificates, on the other hand, are required by state law to be filed within 10 days of a person's death. The state will report a death as being caused by COVID-19 if a medical certifier determines COVID-19 directly caused a person's death. 

This doesn't include deaths where a person had COVID-19 but died of another, unrelated cause, the state health department said Monday.

As of Monday, Texas health officials reported 5,713 fatalities that were identified by death certificates, including 44 new deaths on Monday. 

That total is significantly higher than the 5,038 fatalities reported Sunday when the state used data from local health departments.

The new data is reflected on the state health department's coronavirus website.

Also on Monday, the state reported 4,267 new cases of COVID-19, its lowest case count since July 5.

Dallas County reported 426 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.

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