The state has removed from its website a fourth COVID-19 death for Hopkins County that was first reported July 12.
The state reported Hopkins County’s first death on June 19, and the death was removed on June 23. According to County Judge Robert Newsom, the Local Health Authority intended to dispute the cause of death.
The state reported Hopkins County’s second death on June 21, and the death was removed on June 25. No further information is available regarding this death or its removal.
The state reported Hopkins County’s third death on July 5, and the death was removed July 7.
About this reported death, Hopkins County emergency management coordinator Andy Endsley stated, “We have no idea why y’all are even seeing that… that’s wrong even though it’s on the state dashboard… Unless it’s from us, it’s not official.”
The state reported Hopkins County’s fourth death on July 12. The state then removed that death July 13.
About this death, SSPD Chief Jason Ricketson stated, “It was a mistake, and they [the state] are supposed to notify it with us [county emergency management] before they post it. They never notified us. So they said it will get taken off.”
Emergency management stated they will hold a press conference later today to provide additional details.
In two other instances, Hopkins County emergency management has removed what they refer to as “duplicate cases” from the cumulative county case counts. This occurred on or about case number(s) 24/25, and on or about case number(s) 71/72.
Reactions to the news were mixed. Some stated they believed the county was attempting to “cover things up.”
“Hopkins County is trying to cover things up,” said citizen Christine Ortiz. “Don’t believe anything they post.”
However, others applauded the county for being fastidious about examining all deaths.
“I get the impression we [Hopkins County] have people [emergency management] wanting to report the most accurate information and not wanting to do it just for the [money],” said citizen Lee Giles.
Some said it did not matter about the cause of death, specifically.
“Death in [the] county from it or not we need to take it seriously,” said citizen Lavania Self. “Protect your family is all we can do. Stop the panic. I really don't trust anyone at this point, including [the] media.”
Local health officials asked for the public to trust them, as they are simply doing their jobs.
“It’s already been proven that the site [citizen-facing state website] is really not dependable,” said the Hopkins County local health nurse, who asks her identity not be revealed due to HIPPA concerns. “All I ask is that you trust the process.”
Todd Kleiboer contributed to this report.