The death toll in the United States from the coronavirus has increased to more than 36,000 after an additional nearly 4,000 probable deaths were added to the total number of fatalities.
An additional 3,981 probable coronavirus deaths were confirmed which brought the total deaths in the US to 36,185.
The number of deaths in the US increased in 24 hours on Thursday by 2,290. The death toll was at 32,204 without the newly counted probable deaths.
Infections increased by 32,015, bringing the total number of cases to 691,567.
Of the probable deaths now counted towards the overall death toll, New York City announced 3,914 on Thursday.
Previously, states reported only lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The CDC told states this week to start counting probable infections and deaths, which includes cases that have not been tested but evidence points to the disease.
It comes after the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists revised its COVID-19 definition to include probable cases.
The change was made, in part, because of growing evidence that some infected people don’t exhibit symptoms and may not have been tested.
CDC officials said this week that the change would give them ‘a better picture of the burden of COVID-19 in the US.’
Officials in some states said they were just learning about the change, which means the tally of coronavirus cases and deaths could soon jump.
There was already a big rise in New York City where officials this week started counting people who had never tested positive for the coronavirus.
That caused the city’s death count to jump by more than 3,700 on Tuesday.
The deaths in hard-hit New York, not including NYC’s probable deaths, increased by 606 in 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 12,822.
There are now more than 223,000 infections in New York state.
The record number of deaths comes days after a statistical model relied on by the White House projected that the peak death day would be Monday with 2,150 fatalities
Model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted this week that the total US deaths in the pandemic could reach about 68,800 by early August
A statistical model relied on by the White House projected that the peak death day would be Monday with 2,150 fatalities.
Experts view deaths as a ‘trailing indicator’ that continues to increase for several days even if new cases and hospitalizations decline – as people who were hospitalized days or weeks ago continue to pass away.
The statistical model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted this week that the total US deaths in the pandemic could reach about 68,800 by early August.
It suggests the US has not yet hit the halfway point for potential fatalities.
It comes as President Donald Trump gave governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out ‘a phased and deliberate approach’ to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases.
The new guidelines are aimed at easing restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while holding the line in harder-hit locations. They make clear that the return to normalcy will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.
Guidelines largely reinforce plans already in the works by governors who have primary responsibility for public health in their states.