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Audit Adds Hundreds To Kentucky's COVID-19 Death Toll


An audit of state death certificates has increased the number of COVID-19-linked deaths in the state by more than 600.

The Beshear administration's audit pulled all death certificates from November through the end of January that listed COVID-19 and compared them to the lists which first come through local health departments. The result was 604 additional deaths.

"This won't be the last audit that we do," Gov. Andy Beshear cautioned. "It won't be the last time we discover additional people who have passed away."

The governor said it's a process that's uncovered hundreds of COVID-related deaths in neighboring states.

"My belief is it will probably take a decade after something like this — and many states are doing what we're doing and some haven't even started it — to know the full devastation," he added.

The audit comes as the state sees more encouraging news in other trends, notably the positivity rate, which has dropped to 3.23 percent. That's the lowest since early July.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.