ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS12) — A man who died in a motorcycle crash was counted as a COVID-19 death in Florida, according to a new report from FOX 35 Orlando.
According to the report, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino was asked whether two coronavirus victims in their 20s had any underlying medical conditions that could have potentially made them more susceptible to the virus.
Pino’s answer was that one of the two people who was listed as a COVID death actually died in a motorcycle crash. Despite health officials knowing the man died in a motorcycle crash, it is unclear whether or not his death was removed from the overall count in the state.
Dr. Pino tells FOX 35 that one “could actually argue that it could have been the COVID-19 that caused him to crash.”
Other discrepancies in Florida’s coronavirus case numbers have also come into question.
CBS12 News reported Friday that dozens of Florida labs still report only positive COVID tests, skewing positivity rates, despite the positivity data being questioned earlier in the week.
The way Florida reports coronavirus deaths has also been a subject of concern for Jon Taylor, a PhD student at Florida Atlantic University, who has been working with FAU Finance Professor Dr. Rebel Cole on their own COVID tracker.
Taylor and Cole say they take issue not only with the unexplained outliers in the positive lab results but also the way the DOH presents hospitalizations and deaths.
Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference on Wednesday says Florida law for a reportable illness states that if someone tests positive, it must be reported. But the law itself does not make labs report any negative results. However, the governor says his administration, likely in one of his executive orders, requires labs to report negative COVID-19 test results, too. The governor admitted that there are several labs only reporting positive tests to meet the standards of the underlying law and not the new standards implemented by his office.
The Florida Department of Health has not responded to a request for comment on how it will ensure labs report accurate data.