FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –  December 28, 2021
Logan Anderson, VDH PIO

VDH Adds Out-of-state COVID-19 Deaths to Data Dashboards

(RICHMOND, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will add an additional 165 COVID-19 associated deaths of Virginia residents who died in another state in 2020 to the COVID-19 data dashboards. In 2020, these 165 previously unknown COVID-19 associated deaths occurred among Virginia residents in another state, and VDH is reporting this information now that it’s available. These deaths occurred throughout the year in 2020 and will be reflected in the dashboard by date of death and date reported.

These newly reported deaths do not represent a large increase in deaths for December 28, 2021. These deaths are only being reported today.

A small percentage of the time, a Virginia resident with COVID-19 dies in another state and that state issues a death certificate. VDH is notified of these deaths when these non-Virginia-issued death certificates are submitted to VDH by other states, which is often significantly delayed. The majority of out-of-state issued death certificates are reported to VDH in September and October after the year of death. Once received, this information must be reviewed to ensure the deaths were not previously reported and to determine whether they were associated with COVID-19.  As such, most COVID-19 associated deaths that occur outside of the state of Virginia, but are among Virginia residents, are added to VDH’s official surveillance statistics at the end of December the year after the death occurred as part of the quality assurance reconciliation process.

Those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. This population remains VDH’s top priority.  Everyone 5 years or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a Community Vaccination Center or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. At Community Vaccination Centers, appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times, but walk-ins are welcome.