The Department of Public Health explained the reporting change that resulted in a drop in the official state count of COVID-19 deaths by pointing to a recent change in the federal-level definition of “probable cases.”

Wednesday’s daily report used “updated data” based on the new definition announced Aug. 6 by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, DPH said.

The new language, DPH said, defines probable cases as people “with a positive antigen test, with COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on a death certificate, or with appropriate symptoms and likely exposure.”

As a result of the change and despite the announcement of 22 new COVID-19 deaths, DPH’s total confirmed and probable death toll was listed as 9,060 on Wednesday, four fewer than the 9,064 in Tuesday’s report.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox