Dear Stuff • Please Ditch the Misleading Covid Death Headlines

8 min readMar 22, 2022

Covid-19: 14,463 new community cases, 1000 in hospital, nine deaths reported… no mention that those deaths are WITH Covid-19 not BECAUSE of Covid-19

Image from Asia Pacific Report via Creative Commons

It’s been happening right through the Pandemic — deaths reported as if all the people dying with Covid-19 are dying because of Covid-19.

And even though on Stuff’s own website there have been articles explaining what counts as a Covid-19 death, there has been no move to clarify headlines, or even include accurate information in the body of those articles.

That lack of clarity means these headlines imply that right now around 9 people a day are dying because of Covid-19.

It’s not true.

And based on a press conference that Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave last week, it’s likely that only around 20% of people who are in hospital WITH Covid-19 are there BECAUSE of Covid-19.

“Bloomfield has recognised the interest between people in hospital because of covid, compared to being there with covid.

He said there are generally 3 groups that standout in the situation. First group — people are there with covid-related symptoms. Second group — people with pre-existing conditions who get covid and they’re being treated in hospital for that condition. Then there are people with other reasons, like an injury they’re in hospital for, who test positive while there.

Bloomfield gave a snapshot of just one hospital at a given time and the hospital rates seen. There were a lot of figures he mentioned, but the key one that stood out was that only about 20% were there to be treated for Covid-related symptoms. The rest were there for a range of other conditions, such as pre-existing, surgical, gynaecology and paediatric care.” — Stuff Article

Finally, some clarity on Covid-19 hospitalisations, which also extrapolates to deaths. People are in hospital, for other reasons, and Covid positive, and some of them die. Not always because of Covid, but sometimes just with it.

Yet Stuff continues to use headlines that implies x amount of people are dying because of Covid every day.


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