The COVID-19 death rate data publicly reported in Texas may be skewed lower than the actual death rate, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.
Texas publicly reports just confirmed COVID-19 deaths, which means patients who die before undergoing COVID-19 screening are not included in those counts. Many individuals who die at home do not undergo an autopsy to reveal whether they had the coronavirus, and with testing shortages in the state, others have likely died before being tested.
There have been other issues with reported death rates as well. There has been a lag in counting COVID-19-related deaths, especially for patients who die several weeks after they test positive. The Chronicle also reported that the time between a person dying and having that death recorded and updated in publicly reported statistics could be several weeks.