NYC’s COVID-19 Death Toll Soars By 3,778 After Probable Cases Added

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: A medical worker walks outside of a coronavirus intake tent at the University Hospital of Brooklyn on April 14, 2020 in New York City, United States. New York has been the hardest hit city i... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: A medical worker walks outside of a coronavirus intake tent at the University Hospital of Brooklyn on April 14, 2020 in New York City, United States. New York has been the hardest hit city in the nation from the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

New York City on Tuesday added 3,778 fatalities to its count of COVID-19 deaths by including cases in which the presence of the viral disease was likely at fault — even if it had not been confirmed with a test.

Before the new cases were added Tuesday, the city had recorded 6,589 COVID-19 fatalities between March 11 and April 13, in which the decedent had tested positive for the viral disease.

The addition of the 3,778 “probable” cases instantly increased recorded deaths across the United States of the disease by 17%, the New York Times reported. The Times first reported that the city was counting probable cases in their fatality numbers Tuesday.

The CDC had recorded 22,252 deaths nationwide of the disease as of Tuesday afternoon. Johns Hopkins University counted just more than 23,000. Neither count “probable” deaths in their tallies, though the CDC has advised states and localities to keep a record of assumed COVID-19 deaths, the Times noted.

“A death is classified as probable if the decedent was a New York City resident (NYC resident or residency pending) who had no known positive laboratory test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) but the death certificate lists as a cause of death ‘COVID-19’ or an equivalent,” the city said in a document accompanying the new data Tuesday, which a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shared with TPM. (Read through the document below.)

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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

Other data have pointed to a potential undercounting of COVID-19 deaths based on confirmed cases alone — such as data from EMTs and paramedics in New York City, who have seen a dramatic spike in daily cardiac deaths in recent weeks.

The Times reported that city officials had also been gathering data on total “excess” deaths on top of what would be expected without a pandemic — a likely larger count than the “probable” and “confirmed” cases ending with fatalities alone.

In addition to “confirmed” and “probable” deaths, New York City is also keeping a count of total deaths not known to be tied to COVID-19. There were 8,184 of these deaths recorded between March 11 and Monday.

“As new information becomes available, some deaths previously classified as probable or not known to be confirmed or probable COVID-19 may be reclassified as laboratory-confirmed,” the city said in Tuesday’s release.

Read through the city’s data below:

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. It’s fairly obvious that the quantity of ambulance deaths have skyrocketed in NY during this pandemic, and there was cardiac arrest involved well above the normal statistical basis. This implies the likely presence of COVID-19, since cardiac arrest is the result of pulmonary failure, which is a hallmark of the disease. It would be wise to obtain samples from the corpses and carefully store them for later analysis when the capability exists. They can then retroactively report the actual cause of death and adjust the statistics appropriately.

  2. Ages 75 and over both have very high % on the Confirmed (47.7%) and Probable (49.9%)!

    Time for Congress to protect the elderly and vulnerables more NOW!

  3. This is likely true anywhere the medical system is under stress, with a lack of testing and people sheltering at home afraid, they are going to die at home or go in so sick they die before a proper test is done. This shouldn’t be taken as the entire nation (or world) is undercounting the dead by 20%, it will really take some studies of the normal death rate compared to what is happening now to get a better picture of how many people are being killed by this.

    It’s scary to think of that many people dying every day, but it’s something we need to know, because if we are still dealing with hidden illnesses and deaths when we open the nation back up the virus will just start spreading all over again.

    Oh, and odds are this pisses of Trump bigly, he’ll take it out on the Democrats who are trying to make him look bad. Asshole.

  4. 20200413-eckstein-coronavirussm

    (Wired Cartoonist Bob Eckstein)

    Something tells me we are all going to be pushing this beastly for a long time.

  5. Yes… but these numbers will only be added to Cuomo’s total. tRump likes to count only the known to be dead of Corona virus in his numbers.

Continue the discussion at

3 more replies


Avatar for discobot Avatar for imkmu3 Avatar for cervantes Avatar for drriddle Avatar for hagarwood Avatar for slimjim33 Avatar for jmacaz Avatar for expatls1954 Avatar for Volvo_Birkenstock

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: