NYC coronavirus deaths may be underreported by more than 5,000, CDC says

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The coronavirus-associated death count in New York City may be much higher than previously reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week.

Official pandemic death counts in New York City could have underreported by more than 5,000 the deaths associated with the disease, the CDC reported Monday.

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The CDC says counting laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths and “probable COVID-19-associated deaths” may not show the whole picture.

Between March 11 and May 2, the city reported 32,107 deaths, with 24,172 of those “found to be in excess of the seasonal expected baseline,” the CDC said.

“Included in the 24,172 deaths were 13,831 (57 percent) laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated deaths and 5,048 (21 percent) probable COVID-19-associated deaths, leaving 5,293 (22 percent) excess deaths that were not identified as either laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19-associated deaths,” the report reads.

The remaining deaths resulted from “indirect impacts” that are “unknown and require further investigation,” the CDC wrote.

To achieve a more accurate measure of the pandemic’s severity in the U.S., the CDC calls for the inclusion of “excess deaths,” or more indirect fatalities. These deaths could have been caused by inaccessible diagnostic testing, false-negative tests, infection after testing negative, deaths outside of health care settings, or cases where COVID-19 was not suspected as a cause for death.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. reached a grim milestone on Monday as the novel coronavirus death toll surpassed 80,000. Globally, COVID-19 has been linked to more than 283,000 fatalities, and over 4.1 million cases. The number of deaths in the U.S. is more than double that of the U.K., which has the second-highest fatalities nationwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University heat map.

Fox News' Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.