Revised count puts NYC coronavirus death toll above 10,000

Revised count puts NYC coronavirus death toll above 10,000
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New York City’s official death toll from the coronavirus has risen to more than 10,000 with the addition of 3,700 people who never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died from it based on symptoms and medical history.

The city has been recording these additional deaths for weeks, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing two people briefed on the matter. The majority of the deaths occurred in hospitals, with a smaller portion in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de Blasio43 percent of NYPD employees vaccinated: report The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Israeli politician calls on Ben & Jerry's to 'rethink' ban MORE (D) made the decision over the weekend to announce the inclusion of the presumptive cases, the Times reported.

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“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” Freddi Goldstein, de Blasio’s press secretary, told the Times. “As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

Policies on reporting presumptive cases vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot told the Times that Connecticut, Ohio, Delaware and Maryland have also begun reporting probable cases this week, while California and Seattle officials said deaths were counted as coronavirus-related only if testing confirmed the disease.

The New York cases cover the period between March 11 and April 13, which includes when de Blasio and Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York bans underage marriages, raises age of consent to 18 Former speed skater launches bid for Stefanik seat Don't let the rule of law become a victim of COVID-19 MORE (D) locked down most of the city and state.

While the city has been reporting additional presumed cases to the National Center for Health Statistics for more than a week, Barbot said it would continue reporting exclusively confirmed cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as that is what was requested.

City and state officials have previously offered conflicting death counts, with the state putting the total at 7,349 as of Monday and the state’s Health Department acknowledging the disparities, which it blamed on the use of different data systems between the city and the state, the Times reported.