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COVID-19 by county: Looking back, virus kills at a steadier pace than daily confirmations show

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 19:34:46-05

If you’ve been watching daily reports of COVID-19 numbers from the Utah Department of Health, you’ve probably noticed a regular feature when they update the number of confirmed deaths. In the report emailed on March 2, 2021: “Two of the deaths occurred before February 9, 2021.”

With Utah’s overall numbers trending in the right direction, we decided to choose one month and compare the actual count of confirmed deaths with the count announced daily.

The difference doesn’t show anything nefarious, but it provides important context. Public health data will always be more accurate in retrospect, and retrospect in this case shows that COVID killed at a steady pace between Thanksgiving and Christmas, though daily confirmations from the health department came with peaks and valleys.