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As many as 36 here may have died from COVID-19

Revised COVID-19 death statistics from the state combined with the number of deaths caused by the virus in the nursing home show the number dead in the county from the virus could number as many as 36.

The state Department of Health updated its statistics last Thursday, increasing the number of people who have died from 6 to 13, then to 16 on Friday. Meanwhile, a separate report of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes show 20 Letcher Manor residents have died from the disease. A total of 133 patients and 88 staff at the nursing home are listed as having “ever tested positive.”

State statistics appear to keep statistics from nursing homes separate from those in the general population, though the state has not provided a definitive answer for how the numbers are counted. Adding the county death statistics to the nursing home deaths would mean 36 in the county have died.

The number of dead listed for the county remained at three to five for weeks while family members, funeral homes, and healthcare workers reported more deaths on nearly a daily basis.

Considering personal accounts from those sources, the higher number seem to be closer in line with the actual number of deaths that have occurred here. At one point, at least 14 people who died from COVID-19 were buried here over a two-week period.

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