Florida medical examiners were releasing coronavirus death data. The state made them stop. (Tampa Bay Times)

When the medical examiners’ list was available, it showed more deaths than the state’s count.

State officials have stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths being compiled by Florida’s medical examiners, which has at times shown a higher death toll than the state’s published count.

The list had previously been released in real time by the state Medical Examiners Commission. But earlier this month, after the Tampa Bay Times reported that the medical examiners’ death count was 10 percent higher than the figure released by the Florida Department of Health, state officials said the list needed to be reviewed and possibly redacted.

They’ve now been withholding it for nine days, without providing any of the information or specifying what they plan to remove.

Dr. Stephen Nelson, the chairman of the state Medical Examiners Commission, said the change in policy came after the state health department intervened.

The medical examiners’ list does not include names. But it provides demographic information, probable cause of death and case summaries with information about each person’s medical and travel history.

Nelson — who is also the medical examiner for Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties — said state officials told him they plan to remove causes of death and case descriptions. Without that information, the list is meaningless, he said…

To read the entire article from Tampa Bay Times, click https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/04/29/florida-medical-examiners-were-releasing-coronavirus-death-data-the-state-made-them-stop/


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