WICHITA CO. (KFDX/KJTL)— While many across the country question how many deaths were people with coronavirus who actually died for other reasons, local health officials said all Wichita County deaths are COVID-19 related, but not everyone died as a direct result of the disease.

Health Director Lou Kreidler said the county reports them as COVID related deaths because they were infected with COVID-19 at time of death.

Kreidler said the health district does not determine the cause of death which is the attending physician’s responsibility.

Kreidler said releasing information that someone with the virus has an underlying health condition feels intrusive and disrespectful to the family.

Even though the identities of patients are anonymous, Kreidler said each person has to weigh their own risk.

“We talk all the time about those risks that make COVID a higher risk to them, so being obese, having high blood pressure, having diabetes, having any type of underlying respiratory illnesses,” Kreidler said.

Kreidler also said they have seen perfectly healthy people become COVID patients in the ICU for many days.