UPDATE: West Virginia’s supposed first coronavirus death misreported by nursing home; still no deaths


UPDATE(March 27 3:57 p.m.)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During his daily news briefing Friday, the Governor addressed the situation surrounding the false report, calling it “inexcusable in my book.” You can watch the governor’s full comments on the issue below:

UPDATE(March 27 11:57 a.m.)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Officials with Sundale said the death was misreported to the DHHR and that the resident is not dead.

Sundale put out the following post on Facebook about the confusion:

An unidentified person told Sundale staff, Thursday night, that the person had died at the hospital, Sundale officials said. That information spread through Sundale staff and a “higher up” reported the supposed death to the DHHR, incorrectly, officials said.

At 12:46 p.m., the DHHR sent out a corrected news release that simply stated:

Please see the statement from Sundale Long Term Care regarding an erroneous report to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources regarding a false death.

The release included a copy of the letter below:

The DHHR also adjusted the death count on its website back to zero and deleted the Facebook post that originally announced the death.

ORIGINAL STORY(March 27 11:22 a.m.)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) confirmed Friday morning that the first West Virginian has died as a result of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The individual is a 76-year old male from Monongalia County, associated with the Sundale Long Term Care home in Morgantown and had underlying health conditions, according to a news release from the DHHR. To protect the patient’s privacy, no additional details will be released, officials said.

At a news conference Thursday, Sundale officials said that 21 residents and eight staff members had tested positive for coronavirus.

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