New NYC Figures Raise US Coronavirus Death Toll 17 Percent
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic increased 17 percent on Tuesday to more than 26,000 after the New York City Health Department added more than 3,700 fatalities to the overall tally, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The new figures raised the number of deaths from the coronavirus in the city to more than 10,000.
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Health Department officials said they were now including 3,700 people "who were presumed to have died of the virus but had not tested positive for it," the Times explained.
It was the largest spike in deaths in a single day after several days "in which the death toll had fallen or was nearly flat," CNN said.
"The daily death toll was 2,405 on Tuesday," CNN added, citing Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases. That brought the total number of U.S. deaths to 26,033.
City and State Differed on How They Calculated Coronavirus Death Toll Numbers
For weeks now, New York City has been the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic. But the city and state have differed on how they count the deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Times reporters Ali Watkins and William K. Rashbaum explained how the city and state have been calculating the death toll.
They noted that, during his televised daily briefing last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said "the official death count numbers presented each day by the state are based on hospital data. Our most conservative understanding right now is that patients who have tested positive for the virus and die in hospitals are reflected in the state’s official death count.”
However, the city has been using a different measure: Any patient who tests positive for the coronavirus and later dies — whether at home or in a hospital — counts as a coronavirus death, said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Health.
"To date, we have only been recording on people who have had the test,” she said on Thursday morning.
As a result of the new method of calculation, the Times said, "Far more people have died in New York City, on a per-capita basis, than in Italy, the European country with the most deaths."