COVID-19 Top Cause of Death in Last Third of 2020

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Kansas during the last four months of 2020, a legislative audit says, prompting Republican lawmakers to call for more investigation of the numbers.

The short report from the Legislature’s auditing division said there were “slight variations” in the number of deaths from September 1st through December 31st due to what are traditionally the leading causes in Kansas, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and suicide.

The audit said COVID-19 caused more than 2,500 deaths during those four months, surpassing deaths from each of the traditional top 10 causes.

Auditors also said that COVID-19 was largely responsible for a 14% increase in total deaths in Kansas for all of 2020.

Republican Senators Caryn Tyson and Mike Thompson said they’ll push for another review of the statistics.

They want more information about how doctors and medical examiners have concluded that COVID-19 is the underlying cause of a death.