COVID-19 death count in England reduced by over 11% after government revises counting method

The British government had previously been labeling deaths as COVID-19 fatalities if anyone who had tested positive for the disease had died at any point following that test. The revised policy limits that window to 28 days after a positive test. 

Updated: August 12, 2020 - 4:44pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The official count of COVID-19 deaths in the U.K. plummeted by over 11% this week after the government revised its method for tallying coronavirus fatalities in that country. 

The British government had previously been labeling deaths as COVID-19 fatalities if anyone who had had a positive test for the disease had died at any point following that test. The revised policy limits that window to 28 days after a positive test. 

The new method dropped total deaths in the country from 46,706 to 41,329, a plunge of 11.5%. 

The United Kingdom is among the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The earlier death figure put the U.K. at #5 worldwide in unadjusted COVID-19 deaths; the new number will not move it out of that spot, with Italy still coming in at #6 with 35,225 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Worldometers

Deaths and cases appear to have peaked in early April in the country, though it is unclear if the revised count will move those markers backwards or forwards in time. 

Just the News Spotlight