The low rate of COVID-related deaths in Davidson County may not be as low as Nashville officials have taken credit for in recent weeks. The city has now disclosed that its medical examiner has been running way behind in confirming local fatalities ever since the winter surge.
The state, apparently, has the more accurate figure, with 861 deaths from COVID-19 in Davidson County. That’s 228 more than local officials have reported to date.
On Tuesday, the city will release all the deaths not yet reported locally. And Metro Public Health plans to work over the next 10 days to reconcile the state and local figures, to make sure all of those deaths belong in Davidson County.
Going forward, Metro Health warns there may still be small discrepancies between state and local figures. That’s because of extra steps taken to make sure the fatality was a Davidson County resident, not just that they died in a Davidson County hospital.
Nashville hospitals regularly treat out-of-county patients. But during the pandemic, many have even cared for out-of-state residents as hospital capacity has been limited around the region.
“MPHD has inserted quality controls to accurately check these differences in a timely manner, and expects the differences in counts to return to a minimal level after this reconciliation process,” spokesman Brian Todd said in an emailed statement.