In the last three days, 766 people were found dead in their homes, bringing the total for the first eight days of April to 1,891, according to the city’s medical examiner’s office. It’s likely that many have not been counted in the current tally.
Paramedics are not performing coronavirus tests on those they pronounce dead. Recent Fire Department policy says that death determinations on emergency calls should be made on scene rather than having paramedics take patients to nearby hospitals, where, in theory, health care workers could conduct post-mortem testing.
It is almost impossible to say how many of those 1,125 patients who died at home or in street in the first five days of April had coronavirus — some may have been previously tested before their death and either were never admitted to a hospital or had been sent home.
But the discrepancy between the Fire Department numbers from this year, at the height of the epidemic, compared with those of last year suggests that many of those who died probably were infected.