It's being reported that a man who died of alcohol poisoning is being listed by the state as a coronavirus-related death.
*This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is released.
Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers is disputing the death of a Colorado man who has been classified as another victim of COVID-19 by the state's health department.
According to reports, Deavers had determined that Sebastian Yellow, 35, had died on May 4 of acute alcohol poisoning—his blood-alcohol measured at .55. However, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) had attributed his death as a result of the coronavirus.
“They should have to be recording the same way I do. They have to go off the truth and facts and list it as such,” Deavers told CBS4.
The CDPHE released the following statement on how they classify COVID-19-related deaths,
"We classify a death as confirmed when there was a case who had a positive SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) laboratory test and then died. We also classify some deaths as probable. You can find the full criteria for that on our website under “About our Data,” but the gist is that there must be strong epidemiological evidence of COVID-19 such as a combination of close contact with a confirmed case and symptoms of COVID-19. We will also count a death as a COVID-19 death when there is no known positive laboratory test but the death certificate lists “COVID-19” as a cause of death."
Deavers has said that he tested the body for COVID-19 after receiving word that Yellow may have been in contact with someone who had it. And while Yellow did end up testing positive for the virus, Deavers claims that he's "99.9 percent certain" it was not the cause of death.
At the time of this writing, the CDPHE lists three COVID-19 deaths in Montezuma County, while the county's own website says two. The Montezuma County website also says that one death had tested positive for COVID-19 but it wasn't the cause of death.
Courtesy of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Courtesy of the Montezuma County Official Website