The Guardian unpublished an article about the death of a woman and coronavirus. The article asked why a UK woman’s death “appeared not to be included in official government numbers for deaths from Covid-19,” and noted at the time of publication, the Guardian didn’t know if her death certificate said she died from Covid-19. The article was removed after the Guardian confirmed that her cause of death was listed as covid-19.
The March 27 article was headlined, “Chloe Middleton, death of 21-year-old not recorded as Covid-19,” according to a re-publication of the article on Flipboard. It reported in part, “The death of 21-year-old Chloe Middleton – the UK’s youngest coronavirus victim, her family believe – has not been recorded in the official toll because of confusion about how she died, the Guardian can reveal. Middleton was taken to Wexham Park hospital in Slough last Thursday after having a heart …”
The article has been replaced with a note reading, “This article was removed on 28 March 2020. Please see the corrections and clarifications column.” The corrections and clarifications column explains the article was removed because the family and coroner’s office both confirmed that her death certificate said she died from Covid-19.
The correction reads:
“• On Friday 27 March 2020, the Guardian published an article seeking to explain why the death of Chloe Middleton, a 21-year-old woman from High Wycombe, appeared not to be included in official government numbers for deaths from Covid-19, despite her family having been told that this was the cause. The article was at the time not able to clarify that a death certificate recorded her cause of death as Covid-19. This has now been confirmed by both the family and in a statement on behalf of the Berkshire coroner’s office. We are pleased to clarify this matter and apologise to the family for any confusion and distress caused. Since the article was published, statistics were this week released by the Office for National Statistics, which include all deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on a death certificate, whereas previous government figures counted only those deaths where the patient had a positive test result. Ms Middleton’s case should therefore be in ONS figures for coronavirus.”
The Guardian declined to comment beyond its editor’s note.
UPDATED: 4/19/2020 12:20 PM
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