35% listed as confirmed by lab tests
By Guy Page
As today’s headlines report that Vermont has suffered its 500th Covid-19 death, a review of Covid death certificate information obtained from the Vermont Department of Health through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shows a detailed view of Covid-19’s fatal impact on Vermonters.
Vermont Daily Chronicle is grateful to the reader who obtained this information earlier this month through the FOIA document request process. All the information presented is the property of the public and must be shared by the government upon request, according to state law.
The spreadsheet provides detailed death certificate information on all 440 Covid-19 deaths from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. The first Vermont Covid-19 fatality was announced March 19, 2021. The information provided includes date of death, age of the deceased, Cause of Death A, Cause of Death B, Cause of Death C, Cause of Death D, and Other Significant Conditions Contributing to Death. CDC death certificate instructions direct the physician to list first the “immediate cause – the final disease or condition resulting in death.”
The data in the spreadsheet do not reference the deceased’s vaccination status, sex or ethnic identity.
Of the 440 death certificates:
115 death certificates (26%) list Covid-19 as “Cause A” of death. While the terms used in the phrases describing cause of death vary, all 115 contain the words ‘Covid’ or “coronavirus”. Other Cause A Covid-19 death details:
- 40 are specified as “laboratory confirmed.”
- Two are listed as “probable.” CDC death certificate instructions say “a condition can be listed as “probable” even if it has not been definitively diagnosed.”
- 88 listing Covid as “Cause A” list no other causes of death – B, C, D, or “significant contributions.”
- 26 were under the age of 70.
129 list Covid as “Cause B” of death. 37 are listed as “laboratory confirmed.”
111 list Covid as “Cause C” of death. 33 are listed as “laboratory confirmed.”
34 list Covid as “Cause D” of death. Nine are listed as “laboratory confirmed.”
82 list Covid as among “Other Significant Conditions Contributing to Death.” 35 are listed as “laboratory confirmed.”
154 (35%) list Covid as “laboratory confirmed,” across all five categories.
60 death certificates are for people 60 and under, across all five categories. The youngest, 23, has “chronic substance abuse” listed as a significant condition. 15 people 60 and under had Covid listed as “Cause A.”
About 25 death certificates list Covid in more than one category. For example, a 96-year-old person died on April 15, 2021 of Covid-19 (Cause C) and under “significant conditions” had encephalothopy and myocarditis due to Covid-19.