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MA will lower COVID death toll by 15%

DPH reports ‘significant overcount’ of Mass. COVID-19 deaths

The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker will start using a new public health surveillance definition next week, narrowing the window of time between a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and death required for the fatality to get attributed to the highly infectious virus.
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From March 2020 to March 2021, the DPH counted the death of any person who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 as a COVID-19-related death, regardless of how much time elapsed between those two events.
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The new method suggested by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists calls for counting deaths within 30 days of a COVID-19 diagnosis where “natural causes” is labeled on a death certificate as attributable to the virus, half as long a timeframe as under the most recent definition in Massachusetts.
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As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Massachusetts health officials had recorded 23,708 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths since the outbreak first began, so that figure is likely to drop to around 20,000 on Monday.
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China daily local COVID cases hit two-year high of over 1,500

SHANGHAI, March 12 (Reuters) - Mainland China reported more than 1,500 new local COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the most since the first nationwide outbreak in early 2020, as the Omicron variant prompted Beijing to introduce self-testing kits for the first time.

China is responding to surges in infections with draconian quarantine and lockdown protocols that are causing increasing discontent. These include strict testing and quarantine requirements that make it practically impossible for anyone to enter China from the US.

The CCP keeps saying they are going to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use, but they aren't doing it. Two Chinese vaccines are in one case much less effective and in the other, have more severe side-effects than the mRNA vaccines used in the West. China has attempted to exclude the virus from the country, but the efforts are proving insufficient against the newer, more infectious variants.

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Many weird things China does are plainly enacted to keep money from leaving China. This includes internet restrictions (Google and Facebook both blocked), travel restrictions, and even vaccine restrictions. China wants people to buy Chinese, not American.

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It's not just about money. The CCP is deeply paranoid and protective of its power and the country's prestige. The Party governs from within a walled compound, and has little regard for the effects of its edicts on common people. Those edicts lately include evicting all residents of some apartment complexes to use the buildings as COVID-quarantine housing, forcibly relocating and quarantining Black people for baseless suspicion of COVID infection, and confining large numbers of people in metal boxes for quarantine. Those had nothing to do with keeping money in China.

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I read the headline and was hoping the state had finally figured out how to bring back the dead.

If they succeeded in that, an efficient and well run T couldn't be far behind.

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While this revision decreases the overall count by around 4,000 deaths, it also adds around 400 previously uncounted deaths.

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For misinformation, not too long ago.

Even if someone contracted the virus in March and died in a car crash in July, they were added to the ongoing tally of pandemic deaths for that first year.

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Always good to have to have the worst case scenario on call, I guess.

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the only time a death by car accident is natural causes has been when an insurance company can deny coverage. Otherwise no rational human would document a car accident as natural causes.

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should probably have some supporting information.

Here's the current Twitter policy, if that helps: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/medical-misinformation-po...

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Will the ghoulish bureaucrats be notifying families that their loved ones did not die from COVID and they have to reimburse the government for the thousands of dollars the families received to pay for the funerals of COVID victims.

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If that did happen, then those "ghoulish bureaucrats" would be recovering money that rightfully belongs to innocent taxpayers. That's not a bad thing.

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Adam, please tell us if this post is authorized.

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There are several stories that are not posted by Adam. What is problematic about this one?

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Because it's a loaded topic, as well as a policy change/announcement that - however responsible - will be cheerfully seized on by the frootbat brigade.

See?! See?! The state admits what we've been saying all along! They were padding pandemic stats with any unrelated death they could attach some specious tie to Covid! All to control us and wipe our rights! [spittle... foam... rant... etc...]

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I take it the commentator hasn't noticed that Adam doesn't let kooks post articles here.
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At the same time... such an announcement by the state could be handled much more carefully than this.

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Did you quote some deleted comment, or did you make it up? If it's the latter, I suggest that you could handle the topic much more carefully ...

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I was not quoting anybody. If I was, I would use quotation marks.
Nor was I fabricating a quote.
I was characterizing the hypothetical (and all too likely) theme of remarks from the denial-minded population, and offsetting them in the body of my comment with italics and the enclosed block.

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Most people use it for quotes, as was intended. The button for implementing it on this site is labeled "Quote." If you're going to get creative and invent some imaginary comment, I think you ought to make it clear that's what you're doing.

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I was being clear.
I am quite aware the button is labeled "Quote". I use it as frequently used here and many other venues.
In print, a quote is conveyed by quotation marks, not a box.
I was not being sarcastic, so I did not use < s > and < /s > tags.
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If I were going to spend any more time on visual cueing in print, I would insist on issues of crucial cultural importance - like using two spaces after a period. (The immediately preceding sentence was sarcasm. Partly.)
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If you'll excuse me, I must hurry or I will be late to comment-box griping on a news article about Daylight Saving Time. Have a good weekend!

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If it were clear, I wouldn't have asked.

As to the point you were trying to make, who is it that should have taken more care in presenting this story?

Should I have inserted editorial comments to ward off COVID denialist attacks? I considered doing that, but have never seen such efforts to be effective. I decided to just quote and link to the newspaper, and let readers evaluate the information for themselves.

Should the newspaper have presented the information differently? I saw nothing in the article that would invite the kind of reaction you're worried about. While the Sun is generally pretty conservative, this article looks like straight reporting to me.

Should the Governor's office have announced this differently? What would you have them say?

I must point out that nothing like what you're worried about has showed up here. Maybe uHub commenters are more sagacious than you give them credit for.

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Your concerns are not without merit, but sweeping the changes under the rug and not talking about them is not going to deter such people looking to find controversy on the topic.

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At no point did I suggest sweeping the changes under the rug or not talking about them.
I'm saying this announcement could have been much better done by anticipating that sort of reaction and blunting it with careful presentation.

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Can any registered user start a thread ?

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Yes.

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I see a "Post!" in the header, but when I click through I get the option of posting a "24-hour listing" or a "Question". Neither of those seems appropriate.

Edited to add (4/6): Now there's an "Article" option!

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that this revision is in the wrong direction.

An analysis by the Economist of 'excess deaths' would indicate that the current numbers nationwide already show an *undercount* of covid related mortality:

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-tracker

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that this revision is in the wrong direction.

Disagree. "excess deaths" are not deaths from covid. They're important, they need to be counted, but they should not be counted as deaths from covid -- and I also think we need to stay away from phrasings like "deaths due to covid" which are likely to be misunderstood by many as "deaths from covid". I get the distinction, you get the distinction, but I'm afraid we're probably in the minority.

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The more we're learning about the systemic, pernicious effects COVID has on the vascular and nervous systems, along with the immune system and many organs throughout the body, the more likely it seems to be that a variety of medical emergencies such as strokes that have been happening after COVID infection - sometimes months after - may ultimately be "because of COVID".

While I understand you're making the distinction that some hypothetical excess deaths - such as an uninfected heart attack patient whose ambulance didn't arrive in time to save him because of the healthcare system being overtaxed, for instance - may truly be "unrelated to COVID" (although I would certainly argue it is a knock-on effect of the pandemic!), my guess would be the majority of excess deaths may come to be understood in the near future as truly being caused by SARS-CoV-2.

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We don't have the numbers, and we won't for some time. The phrase "unrelated to COVID" isn't mine, but I would say that the death of an uninfected person who dies due to lack of medical attention is definitely "related to COVID", if the lack of medical attention was caused by COVID stresses on the healthcare system. But that's always going to be hard to quantify, as will what's truly "due to COVID", as per your other examples.

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