EAST WENATCHEE — The COVID-19 death count in Chelan and Douglas counties may not be the entire picture.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 is likely being underreported, Veronica Farias, Chelan-Douglas Health District spokesperson, said Wednesday.

If a person is not tested, or test results are mislabeled, or misdirected to the wrong health office, the district cannot report that data.

On Saturday, Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris reported that he certified that a man, in his 40s from Malaga, died from COVID-19 on July 30. The man's death, however, was never included in the health district's data.

The situation involving the man in his 40s from Malaga was a unique one, Farias said.

“Unfortunately there is no way to know if a death has not been reported to us until someone discovers it and reports it,” Farias said.

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