Discrepancy in Garfield County COVID Deaths

GLENWOOD SPRINGS—How many people in Garfield County have died from COVID-19? The exact number isn’t known yet. Garfield County is reporting six while the state health department’s count is now up to 11.  Public Health Specialist Carrie Godes says the higher number may be correct but it has not been verified by Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire. Godes says, “They’re still in a process where we are having the coroner’s office look into those and just be sure that those are accurate, that they are actually in Garfield County and that they have a death that is related to COVID-19.” For the past several weeks, Garfield County’s COVID death toll bounced from six to seven and back to six. Godes says the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) sometimes jumps the gun with those numbers. “The state system does just put the number up as soon as the death goes through and then there is some cleaning in the process that goes on.”  She says the county’s policy is to wait until the cause of death has been investigated and corroborated with the state’s findings. Godes says the county mourns each death from COVID but unfortunately, the mortality rate is likely to climb.