County won’t say how many people in East Palo Alto died of Covid

Daily Post Staff Writer

In its reporting on the high rate of Covid cases in East Palo Alto, the Post asked San Mateo County officials how many people in that city have died from the virus.

The Post didn’t get an answer.

The county counsel’s office told the Post that because of patient privacy concerns under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, it could only release information about Covid deaths by “deidentified zip code.” Meaning the last two digits of the zip code would be removed.

The Post didn’t ask for the deaths by name, just a number for an entire city of 30,499 people. Yet the county …

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18 Comments

    • Maren, do you have a reading problem? It’s an issue because E. Paly has seven times the COVID cases as Palo Alto, per capita. It’s not this way for all cities. This is terrible, and I guess people like you want to sweep it under the rug.

      • First of all, Covid “cases” are almost meaningless as PCR tests are notoriously unreliable. Second, E Palo Alto has a low median age, around 28 years (as of 2010) while Palo Alto median age is over 40. Covid is old person’s disease. Looking at San Mateo County stats (on Worldometers website), over 2/3’s of the approximately 380 “Covid deaths” were White and Asian, and only 27 deaths were of black and Pacific Islander, and 88 Latino/Hispanic. Interesting data point – Latinos/Hispanics have triple the number of Covid cases as Whites but only half as many Covid deaths compared to Whites. Again, age demographics is likely reason for that.

        I think Daily Post is barking up the wrong tree.

        • Since tests are an unreliable measurement, wouldn’t the number of deaths be a more reliable benchmark? I realize the conspiracy theorists won’t be satisfied with any factual information, but the number of deaths would be a useful data set for responding to this emergency.

      • Why is having seven times Covid cases as Palo Alto terrible? For younger people, especially under 65, each “positive” – assuming it is real – is like a natural vaccination with lifetime immunity. You should cheer for more positives.

  1. What does dying from Covid even mean? Death within 28 days of Covid positive…including if patient was in hospice care after stage IV cancer? Any respiratory-related death? Doctor noticed that patient, who came in for completely unrelated reason and died, had sore throat or cough? The financial incentives under the CARES Act and unreliable PCR tests make “Covid deaths” utterly meaningless.

    I remember seeing headlines – more Covid deaths than World War II. Unless we count WWII deaths as anyone who served in War and later died.

    • I’m exaggerating. It’s thought to be in the low 30s. So has this publication made a request to get the death numbers via zip code? They could’ve done that a month ago when they reported on this. I have family there and everyone knows very accurate numbers are difficult to get on infection rate and death rate. It’s the same for other cities.

      • Since the County Counsel’s office is involved, I imagine that the Post asked for death numbers some time back and the lawyers got involved. That probably delayed things.

        • But the Post knows how to get those specific numbers because they mentioned the exact way to do so. So have they requested the information or not?

            • How do you not understand my comment? The Post has said they know how to get the data so I’m wondering if they’ve requested the data or not, instead of acting like victims who have no options.

  2. Alvin seems to be a conspiracy theorist. Wonder if he thinks 9/11 was an inside job? Or did Trump really win the election? Have UFOs ever visited earth?

  3. I get the sentiment here. Brush this under the rug. Shame on the Post for even asking. Why should we care if our neighbors are being killed.

Comments are closed.