The Colorado Department of Health and Environment is listing coronavirus as cause of death of a Colorado man despite the county coroner ruling that he died of ethanol toxicity with an astounding 0.55 blood-alcohol level.
A blood-alcohol level of 0.3 is generally considered fatal.
Although the unidentified man tested positive for coronavirus, County Coroner George Deavers said he disagreed with the state's assessment after his investigation with a pathologist revealed that the man's blood-alcohol content was nearly seven times the legal driving limit of 0.08.
"COVID was not listed on the death certificate as the cause of death. I disagree with the state for listing it as a COVID death, and will be discussing it with them this week," Deavers said Tuesday.
As of Monday, the Montezuma County Public Health Department reports just two COVID-19 deaths, whereas the state department lists three deaths caused by the virus. A spokesperson for the department explained the difference in the reports.
"The person who died did not die from COVID-19, but they did test positive for the virus," the spokesperson said. "The state is reporting that death as a COVID death, but our health department wanted to let people know that even though the person did have the virus, they did not die from it."