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Staff of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services on Tuesday, June 23, removed one case from the county’s total COVID-19 death count after a death certificate confirmed a resident did not die due to the virus despite having it at the time of her death.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of Thurston County residents who have died from the virus stood at four. County staff revised that number on Tuesday, decreasing it from five deaths.

The person who was removed from the tally was a woman in her 90s whose death was originally announced on June 14, county public information supervisor Meghan Porter said.

Disease investigators recently received the woman’s death certificate — nearly two weeks following her death — and verified that she died from an underlying health issue and not COVID-19, which she had tested positive for before her death.

Porter said the county’s disease investigators, who check in on cases daily, were unable to verify the cause of death until they had the death certificate in hand.

Due to medical information being confidential, county staff are unable to speak with doctors or other medical professionals about a patient’s medical record.

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