San Antonio mayor shares frustration over how state handles COVID-19 data

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is working hard to keep his message focused on the need to mask up and socially distance, but discrepancies over COVID-19 data make it hard to do that.

This week, the Metropolitan Health District revealed that it removed more than 600 cases from the total case count because they were duplicate entries or out-of-county cases.

“The scenario that we found was that in about 1%, there were multiple reports of a person testing positive because they took multiple tests. But the reporting agency changed something about their contact information, the spelling of their name, something that made it a unique case within the system,” Nirenberg said.

Metro Health also announced there is a discrepancy between the state’s COVID-19 death count and the city’s death count.

“I will say that what has complicated this entire process is that the state of Texas has changed the methodology by which they report data more than twice,” Nirenberg said. “With regard to deaths, with regard to how we count positive cases, and some of that is in conflict with not only the CDC and cities around the country but also with our own standards of accuracy.”

Since Aug. 5, there have been 705 COVID-19 deaths in Bexar County, according to the state of Texas. San Antonio’s COVID-19 dashboard reports 406 deaths.

Nirenberg said when Metro Health reports a positive case or a COVID-19 related death, officials want to make sure that the numbers are factual.

Metro Health is investigating all deaths reported by the state of Texas. The investigation requires that Metro Health track down the facility where the death occurred, the certifier of the death certificate and the family of a person who died to make sure the death was related to COVID-19.

WATCH: Part 2 of Nirenberg’s interview:

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