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KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — With a change today to death certificate-based reporting, the Texas Department of State Health Services has added 12 new fatalities among Kaufman County residents, bringing the counties total to 17.

Also today, Monday, July 27, 2020, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), which serves as Kaufman County's Local Health Authority, reported 1,440 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kaufman County.

1,233 of those total confirmed cases are presumed recovered, bringing the current estimated active cases of COVID-19 in Kaufman County to 190.

In a statement from DSHS, the agency says it is improving its fatalities reporting by identifying COVID-19 deaths through the cause of death listed on a person's death certificate. The changes were reported in Monday's numbers and included fatalities which were previously unreported. There was not date information provided with the new cases so it is unclear when they were reported deceased.

"This method allows fatalities to be counted faster with more comprehensive demographic data," read the statement. "Using death certificates also ensures consistent reporting across the state and enables DSHS to display fatalities by date of death, providing the public with more information about when deaths occurred."

According to DSHS, fatalities were previously reported publicly by local and regional health departments after they received a notification and verified the death. The link of time with that process, according to DSHS, varied by jurisdiction and did not provide timely demographic information on most fatalities.

"A fatality is counted as due to COVID-19 when the medical certifier, usually a doctor with direct knowledge of the patient, determines COVID-19 directly caused the death," stated DSHS. "This method does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause."

Reporting of COVID-19 fatalities will be based on where the person lived, as listed on the patient death certificate.

Death certificates are required by law to be filed within 10 days.

As of Monday's reporting, with the new reporting procedure, statewide Texas reported 5,713 fatalities, 44 newly reported today, up from 5,038 reported on Sunday under the previous reporting method.

As of July 26, 2020, DSHS reported 8,835 Kaufman County residents have been tested for COVID-19, according to provisional cumulative reporting numbers. There were 12.86 persons per 1,000 persons in the county who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The statewide testing positivity rate, as of July 27, was 13.22%.

Presumed or estimated recovery numbers represent the total confirmed cases in the county, minus any deaths, and estimates 20% of the remaining living cases required hospitalization while 80% of the remaining living cases did not, according to DSHS. Then, DSHS estimates recovery time for those hospitalized at approximately 32 days while those non-hospitalized at approximately 14 days. Those cases then fall off the estimated active case count.

The estimated active case count does not include probable cases, according to DSHS.

Residents are reminded to continue practicing proper hygiene and social-distancing measures.

Editor's Note: The COVID-19 case data information provided here is reported by the DSHS, which serves as Kaufman County's Local Health Authority. DSHS reports their daily case counts to Kaufman County which, at their discretion, may change or alter that data and report it in their respective daily case counts. Due to this, Kaufman County residents may see discrepancies in the daily case counts from the county and the state. Additionally, due to these discrepancies, and a recent audit which revealed a number of "overlooked" cases in Kaufman County's reporting, inForney.com will move forward using source data by DSHS for the total case count, testing, and hospitalization information and will use Kaufman County case geographical reporting data for demonstration purposes only to provide a general area of residency for COVID-19 cases. Also note, the geographical areas are defined by Kaufman County and represent only those cases in Kaufman County.