NYC deaths reach six times normal levels, far more than COVID count suggests

As of Sunday, the city had attributed 16,673 deaths to coronavirus, either because people had tested positive for the virus, or because the circumstances of their death meant that city health officials believed the virus to be the most likely cause of death.

But there remains a large gap between this number and the total deaths above typical levels in the last six and a half weeks: more than 4,200 people whose deaths are not captured by the official coronavirus toll…

It is too soon to know the precise causes of death for New Yorkers in this period. Although many of the deaths not currently attributed to coronavirus may represent an undercount of the outbreak’s direct toll, the broader effects of the pandemic might have also increased deaths indirectly. Throughout the city, emergency rooms have been overcrowded, ambulance response has been slowed, and many residents might have been reluctant to seek medical care because of fears of contracting the virus. Hospitals around the country have reported reductions in admission for heart attacks, one sign that some people may be dying at home from ailments they would survive during more normal times.