The New York State Health Department has launched a testing plan to count the deaths and morbidity caused by COVID19 and flu more accurately. The new regulation says that deaths related to respiratory diseases, which have not been confirmed before a person’s death will follow this post-mortem testing. Health experts have said that COVID19 and flu need routinely testing in this fall and winter because both have similar symptoms like cough, chills, and fever. New emergency order needs this testing whenever any hospitalized person develops symptoms linked to any of these diseases. This post-mortem testing will also be performed on any hospital patient who is supposed to have died due to these ailments. This testing needs to be performed within 48 hours of death if the deceased has not been tested for COVID19 and flu before the death.
The State Health Commissioner has said that with the new regulation, they will be able to keep accurate records of deaths while managing the COVID19 pandemic and preparing for flu season. New post-mortem testing will include dead bodies in the care of funeral directors and medical examiners as well, which have not been under any hospital or nursing home care. The new testing program has been introduced to ensure the integrity of state death records. Authorities have said that if local health professionals are unable to perform this test, they can contact the state to run this test at their public health lab. Experts have said although findings of the test will not be able to change the course of treatment of the deceased, however, they will help health experts to track the frequency of both infections.
Health authorities have claimed that accurate death records will support health experts to take the right decision related to public health. The information collected through post mortem testing will as well strengthen contact-tracing efforts and reduce the transmission of the virus among the communities. The COVID19 pandemic has already caused irreparable damage to the state and the world, with the flu season approaching; the state authorities have ensured to be better prepared.