COVID-19 Is ‘Biggest Mass Death Incident’ In Modern New York History, New Report Says – NBC10 Philadelphia


What there is to know

  • New report from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office describes COVID-19 as “the largest mass death incident in modern New York City history”
  • 65,712 deaths have been reported to the medical examiner this year to date, up from 30,964 a year earlier; according to city data, at least 36% of these deaths were confirmed COVID or probably related
  • The results were part of the COVID-19 section of the Mayor’s MD&A for fiscal 2020, which was released on Thursday

COVID-19 represents the “largest mass fatality incident in modern New York City history”, causing an increase in the number of deaths that more than doubled the total reported to the medical examiner’s office compared to last year, according to a new report from the mayor’s office.

The results were part of the COVID-19 section of the Mayor’s MD&A for fiscal 2020, which was released on Thursday.

He said 65,712 deaths have been reported to the medical examiner this year so far, up from 30,964 a year earlier. According to city data, 36% of those deaths in 2020 were either confirmed to be related to COVID-19 or probably related to it, but never confirmed by the diagnosis.

With the mayor and other officials linking some spikes in violence to stress from the virus disaster, it is possible that more deaths could have been linked to COVID-19 but cannot be categorized that way. A report from the Centers for Disease Control earlier this year found as many as 5,000 more deaths in New York City above baseline this year that have not been confirmed or likely linked to COVID, but that could still be attributable to it.

Daily percentage of positive tests by New York region

With all of New York State in a reopening phase, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is focused on daily monitoring test results in each region to identify potential hot spots before they emerge. Here is the latest tracking data by region. For the latest county-wide statewide results, click here

Queens and Brooklyn have long ranked among the # 1 and # 2 deadliest counties in America, with 6,011 and 5,682 deaths from COVID, respectively, to date, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Los Angeles recently spoofed them, reporting nearly 6,400 COVID deaths to date following California’s recent viral resurgence.

The vast majority of lives lost to COVID in New York City are people aged 75 or older. More men have died than women – more than their proportion of confirmed COVID cases suggests. Victims of COVID have also been disproportionately black or Latino, reflecting a disparate pattern seen across the country.

A huge increase – 10,000 – in cremation requests was also reported this year, mainly from March to June, which marked the peak of mortality from the crisis in New York, according to the report. At one point in April, nearly 800 New Yorkers, most of them from New York, were dying every day.

Hospitals set up makeshift morgues and funeral homes fought against overflowing bodies. A Brooklyn firefighter has said he is fighting for his livelihood after a virus scandal involving bodies being stored in rented U-Haul trucks. Authorities swept and suspended his license in an episode that made headlines in a city already reeling from other horrors of the pandemic.

Today, the daily death toll is in single digits. New York City has seen more than a handful of days in the past month or so with zero reported COVID deaths and now has a 1% infection rate, one of the lowest in the country.

Learn more about the city’s assessment of its response to COVID-19 here and see the mayor’s full MD&A for this year here.

While New York was by far the hardest hit state by COVID, New Jersey was the second worst hit in terms of deaths, reporting more than 16,000 confirmed and probable virus deaths as of its last report on Thursday.

Nationally, the death toll is approaching 200,000. More than 6.7 million cases of COVID have been confirmed in the United States, more than in any other country in the world. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut alone account for over three-quarters of a million of the total.

Officials have warned that the approach of flu season will only exacerbate the COVID challenge, given that the two diseases have similar symptoms. Both New York City and the state have launched awareness campaigns to encourage the flu shot this year.


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