CORRECTION: Nursing home staff say WV COVID-19 death was misreported

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CHARLESTON, WV — 12:15 p.m. March 27, 2020 UPDATE: Following an initial reporting that West Virginia has its first COVID-19 related death. The nursing home which gave the information to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said they misreported the death.

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.

The following statement from Sundale Rehabilitation and Long Term Care was released by the WVDHHR:

“Last night Sundale Long Term Care home reported that a resident from our facility died. We have since learned that this individual did not pass away, as we originally believed. The individual has COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized in critical condition at a local hospital.

We sincerely apologize for the confusion and the erroneous reporting that was relayed to the local health department, Monongalia County Health Department, and ultimately to the state Department of Health and Human Resources, which reported the death in an official capacity.”

Michael Hicks, CEO of Sundale Long Term Care

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

ORIGINAL STORY: 11:16 a.m. Friday, March 27, 2020 — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) confirmed on Friday, March 27, 2020 the first West Virginian died as a result of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state.

The individual is a 76-year old man from Monongalia County, associated with the Sundale Long Term Care home in Morgantown and had underlying health conditions. To protect the patient’s privacy, no additional details were released.

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