Vital Statistics Database Issue Leads to Delay in COVID-19 Deaths Reported


COLUMBIA, S.C. – A system upgrade with DHEC’s Office of Vital Statistics has led to delays in deaths being reported in a timely fashion by coroners and other medical certifiers who confirm and record death information in South Carolina. DHEC first announced enhancements to the Vital Statistics system in December.

Although the system operated smoothly during trials with the vendor, once the system went live in early January, DHEC’s Vital Records became aware of system glitches and immediately contacted the vendor as well as users of the system to have the problems fixed as quickly as possible.

While the vendor worked to remedy the issues, DHEC’s Office of Vital Records dedicated a 24-hour phone number to assist coroners and others who use the database. The updated Vital Statistics system is now fully operational.

Due to the Vital Statistics system upgrade issue, DHEC recently announced an additional 254 confirmed and probable COVID-19 related deaths for individuals who died over the last several weeks.

The state’s fourth pediatric death is included in this reporting, occurring on January 23.

According to SCDHEC, South Carolina has a total of 6,903 individuals who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.