COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Department of Health says as many as 4,000 COVID-19 deaths may have been underreported through the state’s reporting system, and those deaths will now be added to the state’s tally of deaths from the coronavirus during the coming week.

Health officials say “process issues affecting the reconciliation and reporting of these deaths” began in October, with most occurring in November and December. The department identified the problem during a routine employee training, officials said.

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The department says it will continue working with the auditor of state’s office, which has been doing an audit of COVID-19 data since September.

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Officials say adding the deaths will inflate daily reported death counts for two or three days, but the appropriate date of deaths will be reflected on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

As of Wednesday, the state was reporting a total of 11,856 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths, including 10,522 confirmed deaths and 1,334 considered probable under the expanded death definition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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