5,300 excess deaths in New York City may be tied to pandemic, CDC says

Officials have identified 5,293 excess deaths in New York City that may have been caused by COVID-19 but weren't included in the official death toll, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published May 11.  

From March 11 to May 2, a total of 32,107 deaths were reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Of those deaths, about 24,172 were found to be in excess of the expected seasonal baseline. Of the 24,172 deaths, 57 percent (13,831) were lab-confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 21 percent (5,048) were probable COVID-19 deaths, leaving 22 percent of deaths (5,293) without an identified cause. 

The 5,293 excess deaths may be directly or indirectly due to the pandemic. The deaths could include deaths among people with COVID-19 "who did not access diagnostic testing, tested falsely negative, or became infected after testing negative, died outside of a health care setting, or for whom Covid-19 was not suspected by a health care provider as a cause of death," according to the CDC. Fear related to the virus could also prompt some to delay seeking or obtaining lifesaving care.

Other findings suggest the true number of national cases and deaths is also likely much higher than reported.

 

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