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SOUND OFF: Why is there a lag in coronavirus death data?

Reader: I read the paper daily as well as watching the evening news. I read your article Thursday ("Deadly winter: As cases of COVID-19 recede in Kern County, deaths climb") on COVID deaths and I just don’t understand why the data lags so far behind. If a person is being treated for COVID in a hospital and dies, a cause of death has to be determined and listed. If a person dies outside of a hospital, an autopsy is required.

Either way, according to your article, a cause of death must be determined before the person is sent to be buried in order to protect the worker at the cemetery. In any case, the body is only available for testing until it is cremated or buried. When data is still being added from July or from December it's not new data, it’s poor record keeping and nothing more. This isn’t just a local problem. I see the same wild number swings across the state and country. ...

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