York County Coroner Pam Gay upset with the non-transparency of state health officials in reporting of coronavirus-related deaths!

The coronavirus-related deaths in York County is showing a steady rise. But the state health officials are not transparent on it and this has frustrated Coroner Pam Gay.

Pam Gay is upset

As days are going by, the number of deaths due to coronavirus is on the rise in the USA. The York County has documented a high figure of mortality. But Coroner Pam Gay is not happy with the reporting. She is frustrated that the mortality figures are not quoted rightly.

The spokesman for WellSpan Health Ryan Coyle told The York Dispatch that the third death in the county about which the state health officials referred one day before, took place at York Hospital. And at the same time, the company told Pam that there has been no death at Wellspan. Pam said:

“I think that’s a little bizarre. This is crazy. And this is why the coroner should be involved. I don’t know what’s going on here.”

Sam Gay (Source: York Daily Records)

There have been three deaths due to coronavirus in York County. But Pam is aware of only one since the state officials did not inform her of the other two. Pam said:

“In my experience, generally, being transparent is a good thing. It allays people’s fears and suspicions. It puts people more at ease.”

Ryan Coyle responds to the allegations

Later the same day, Ryan explained the discrepancy. He said that the death reported was actually a suspected death due to coronavirus. The test results were still pending and hence they had not notified Coroner Pam about it.

York County, Pennsylvania (Source: Wikipedia)

But Pam has clarified that she is for transparency in matters related to such deaths. She is responsible for investigation of suspected and unintended deaths in the county and as an elected official she has always implemented the transparency in her office. The spokesman for the Health Department Nate Wardle said:

“The department believes that the current structure of handling deaths, where medical professionals handle deaths in which they attend to, is appropriate. This is what happens for other diseases, such as the flu.”

How coronavirus pandemic and death reporting is different?

Many of the coroners in the state of California share the frustrations of Pam. They feel that things are different during the current coronavirus pandemic. The coroners are left our of the loop regarding the details of deaths due to this deadly virus.

Coroner Sam Gay (Source: York Dispatch)

The state health department has interpreted the state laws differently. They have put the coronavirus deaths as natural causes. And hence these cases, we’re not referred to the coroners who deal with suspected or unintended deaths. But Pam feels that this is not right. She stated that under the state statute, coroners are required to investigate deaths “known or suspected to be due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard”. Pam reiterated:

We educate the public about health trends, what’s going on in our community. We feel that if (a law) says it should be reported to us, it should be reported to us.”

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Source: York Dispatch