NYC coronavirus death toll should include those dying at home without diagnosis: de Blasio
A refrigerated trailer and tent used as a temporary morgue outside Lennox Health Greenwich Village Hospital.
Hundreds of New Yorkers dying at home without a coronavirus diagnosis should be counted in the city’s death toll for the pandemic, Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday.
“The blunt truth is coronavirus is driving these very tragic deaths,” the mayor said on CNN. “We’re talking about something like 100, 200 people per day.”
Typically the city sees 20 to 25 people dying at home each day.
Hizzoner acknowledged this week that the city is undercounting the number of people who have died from COVID-19 because hundreds more are perishing at home before being treated or tested for the deadly virus.
“That needs to be in the statistics. What I’ve said to our health care experts is we should just acknowledge this is overwhelmingly being driven by the coronavirus,” de Blasio added on FOX 5 Wednesday. “Not every death, but clearly the vast majority are related to the coronavirus, we should count them as part of the overall, very painful, count.”
The city’s count of deaths from coronavirus hit 3,544 as of Tuesday night. Some New Yorkers who have died at home and were already tested for coronavirus are already part of that count.
“Don’t take this disease ever lightly because the real death toll is even higher,” de Blasio said on CNN. “We surpassed the number of people who died in the world trade center in the last couple of days.”
Though he said hundreds of people are dying at home of coronavirus without seeking care, de Blasio was hopeful because the city was seeing fewer people going to the hospital.
By this point this week, the city had expected to see an additional 300 or more people a day who need ventilators. Now, the city is seeing about 100 more people who need ventilators a day, according to de Blasio.
“It’s been a long battle already, it’s a long battle ahead, but we do see some progress,” de Blasio said on CNN. “We thought there would be a lot more patients who would need ventilators.”
De Blasio said the city has enough ventilators to get through this week after reinforcements were sent by the feds and the state.
“We’re not out of the woods,” he added. “We could be seeing a few good days.”
The positive signs show the importance of social distancing measures and an order for all non-essential workers to stay home, de Blasio said on FOX 5, cautioning New Yorkers from being “overconfident.”
He said the city is “nowhere near” returning to normal but that when that time comes, businesses at the “core to our life” would be reopened first “slowly but surely.”
“As much as we all want to get back to normal, as much as we’re all feeling like we just want to get outside and socialize again, it’s not that time yet,” he said on CNN. “The first thing we do is make sure we do not trip a wire and cause a resurgence.”