Health officials in California cut the state’s total COVID-19 death toll by 25% Friday after identifying cases where the death was not a “direct result” of the virus.

Authorities in Alameda County on Friday issued a new death toll report that showed the total number of coronavirus fatalities in the area at 1,223. Previously, the count was at 1,634. 

Alameda County Statement

“Alameda County previously included any person who died while infected with the virus in the total COVID-19 deaths for the County,” county health officials said in a news release

“Aligning with the State’s definition will require Alameda County to report as COVID-19 deaths only those people who died as a direct result of COVID-19, with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death, or in whom death caused by COVID-19 could not be ruled out,” the news release continued. 

Neetu Balram, spokesperson for the Alameda County health department, did not give specifics about the people who were removed from the death count. 

“There are definitely people who died from reasons that were clearly not caused by COVID,” Balram told The Oaklandside.