The number of New Yorkers pronounced dead in their homes is larger than usual as the city deals with the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the FDNY.
Between March 20 and April 5, on average, nearly 129 people were declared dead in their homes per day. That’s a nearly 385% increase from last year, when nearly 27 people died on average in their homes in the five boroughs per day during the same stretch of time.
In 2019, the FDNY, which is responsible for EMS in New York City, saw an average of 54 to 74 cardiac arrest calls per day, with 22-32 deaths.
For that same period in 2020, the FDNY has received more than 300 cardiac arrest calls per day, with deaths exceeding 200.
These calls included those with respiratory arrest, and fevers or coughs, according to the FDNY.
FDNY officials said they are seeing a 50% daily increase in calls.
Over the course of the 17-day period this year, the percentage of those calls that resulted in New Yorkers being pronounced dead, either because the patient was found exhibiting "obvious signs of death" or on-scene resuscitation efforts were not successful, reached as high as 75%, an FDNY spokesperson said.
Over the course of that same period in 2019, it never exceeded 50%.
The New York Times reports, “many of these deaths were probably caused by COVID-19, but were not accounted for in the coronavirus tallies given by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”
State coronavirus death statistics include those who died from COVID-19 in hospitals; city numbers include anyone who has tested positive and died of COVID-19, the Times reports.
Paramedics are not performing coronavirus tests on those they pronounce dead, the Times report stated, meaning these people are likely not included in coronavirus statistics.
Earlier this month , as New York City hospitals became more crowded with COVID-19 patients, a new directive told paramedics not to transport cardiac arrest patients to the hospital if they can not restart their heart and revive them in the field.
“I believe we are underreporting the deaths and giving a false report of who is dying due to coronavirus,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Data released by the city last week showed COVID-19 cases had spiked in low-income neighborhoods , in communities of color and immigrant neighborhoods. Then city data released earlier this week revealed Hispanic and African American New Yorkers account for up to 62% of coronavirus deaths although they only make up 51% of the population.
FDNY officials on Friday said data showing a breakdown of where people have died in their homes in recent weeks is not yet available.
This article was written by Corey Crockett for WPIX.