Hunt County added 27 COVID-19 cases Thursday night, while the county’s death toll from the virus has risen to 20 victims, even as the county and state officials dispute the total numbers.

The office of Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall reported the Hunt County Health Department conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the most recent cases included 15 in the Greenville ZIP Codes, three from Quinlan, and one each from Caddo Mills and Royse City.

One of the newest cases was hospitalized, with the rest reported recovering at home.

Hunt County had 1,049 total positive cases of the virus as of Friday morning.

The numbers included 380 current cases, with 366 patients recovering at home and with 14 people reported to be in the hospital with the virus.

A total of 661 people had recovered from the virus as of Friday morning, two more than Thursday and 82 more than Wednesday’s report.

Eight people from Hunt County had reportedly died of COVID-19, according to the Hunt County Health Department. Stovall’s office issued the following information in connection to the discrepancy between the county’s and the state’s death totals:

“It has been reported to the county that the state’s COVID-19 fatality numbers far exceed the locally-reported numbers of deaths. The state’s reporting can be accessed by clicking on “Fatalities over Time” on www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/additionaldata. As of this afternoon, the state shows 20 COVID-19 fatalities of Hunt County residents. This divergence is due to a recent change in the way the state calculates COVID- 19 deaths, which in part uses death certificate information not yet available to the county. When Hunt County releases its morning reports, it will show the number of state-reported deaths, and the number of deaths that the County Health Department has been able to independently confirm. A more complete explanation may be found on the following page.

“A conference call with officials from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was held on July 30, 2020. During the conference call, officials clarified the state’s new protocol for counting COVID-19 fatalities and provided explanations for the discrepancies between county and state fatality totals.

“COVID-19 fatality totals that DSHS lists on its website are strictly derived from death records filed with the state. These records include locally certified and non-certified reports. The death certificate data DSHS is using for fatality counts will apparently be made available to local governments shortly, but no specific date has been provided.

“Continued discrepancies in data are expected because some death certificates list an incorrect county of residence for the deceased. As a result, some deaths are counted in the incorrect county. DSHS fatality totals reflect death certificate data, even if that data is incorrect. As death certificates are amended, DSHS county fatality counts may be altered. DSHS data does not distinguish between confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. Hunt County will continue to conduct its own investigations into fatalities and will only report fatalities which are confirmed to be Hunt County residents with an official cause of death listed as COVID-19.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services was reporting 5,279 people had been tested for COVID-19 in Hunt County as of Friday morning, 24 more than had been reported Thursday.

• Additional information on the Hunt County COVID-19 cases is available online on the Hunt County web site at http://www.huntcounty.net/page/hunt.health_services.

• Additional information on the numbers of cases and tests performed in counties across Texas is available at the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard at https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc.

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