Local officials to defer directly to state-reported coronavirus data
Posted 09/01/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 1, 2020

Local officials to defer directly to state-reported coronavirus data
On July 27 the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) adapted its method for
reporting of fatalities due to COVID-19 by identifying them through the cause of death listed on
death certificates. While this method promised faster counting with more comprehensive
demographic data and consistent reporting at the state level, the trickle effect to local levels has
slowed information-sharing.

In light of these delays, the city and county of Nacogdoches will now defer to the state directly
for COVID-related data rather than relying on information pushed through regional channels.
The DSHS COVID-19 dashboard
( https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9caf
c8b83
), updated daily by 4:00 p.m., will be the main source of information as it reflects the
state’s official numbers.

“DSHS collects case information from providers and labs, then in turn relays the information to
us locally,” County Judge Greg Sowell said. “The information we receive through the regional
DSHS-Tyler contact has often been delayed and inconsistent, even from the beginning--which is
not what we desire for the public.” In one instance, a death reported by DSHS lagged by three
months. Timely results are necessary to identify, isolate, and contain the virus while minimizing
exposure. Emergency Management staff have spent countless hours attempting to reconcile data
received by DSHS but have been unable to effectively audit data making it difficult to
disseminate information promptly.

Recent Fatalities Reported by DSHS
DSHS provided information for fourteen recent COVID-related fatalities, bringing the local
count to 46; however the state dashboard reflects 48 deaths for Nacogdoches county. DSHS has
yet to report these two additional deaths to local officials, further emphasizing the need to defer
to state numbers directly.
Date of Death Gender Age
5/15/20 Female 90-99
7/3/20 Female 100+
7/4/20 Female 80-89
7/8/20 Male 90-99
7/17/20 Male 70-79
7/18/20 Female 80-89
7/20/20 Male 70-79
7/22/20 Female 90-99
7/22/20 Female 50-59
7/26/20 Female 70-79
7/27/20 Male 60-69
7/29/20 Female 70-79
8/2/20 Male 60-69
8/11/20 Male 80-89

“At this point, we can ensure a more timely representation of our local status by yielding to the
state’s daily data,” Mayor Shelley Brophy said. “By adapting we are able to ensure the public
gets the most up to date information possible.”

Nacogdoches officials will continue to track local numbers provided by the state, sharing daily
confirmed cases, confirmed fatalities, and estimated active cases on its local dashboard
(tinyurl.com/NACCOVID). Likewise, moving 7, 14, and 21 day averages will be released each
Tuesday for a concise picture of local data trends.

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These premier Chamber publications are widely distributed throughout Nacogdoches County and beyond!
© Copyright 2005-2020 Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.
2516 North St., Nacogdoches, Texas 75965 • (936) 560-5533
Unless otherwise noted, no part of this website may be reproduced without written permission.