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Health officials: Washington's COVID-19 death toll may be higher

Officials have identified 3,000 deaths dating back to Jan. 1, 2020 involving symptoms like pneumonia or acute respiratory syndrome, associated with COVID-19.

Washington state’s death toll from the coronavirus could be two to three times the current total. That's because some people who died of virus-like symptoms early in the outbreak were never tested. 

As of Friday, May 22, at least 1,044 people in Washington state have died from the disease among 19,117 overall cases.

But health officials have identified 3,000 deaths dating back to Jan. 1, 2020 that involved symptoms like pneumonia or acute respiratory syndrome — commonly associated with COVID-19. 

Since they occurred before the first case was identified in the state, officials are investigating those 3,000 deaths to determine whether they should be added to the state death toll. 

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