New statistics show that more than 40 percent of the state’s hospitalized coronavirus-infected patients were admitted for “non-COVID reasons” — with the ratio in New York City “about 50-50,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.
Wednesday’s statewide 42 percent figure was up from 39 percent Tuesday, Hochul said during a news conference in Manhattan.
Hochul noted that there were wide “variations in our different parts of the state” between people “in the hospital for COVID vs. non-COVID reasons.”
“The most number of people admitted for non-COVID reasons as of … a couple days ago are in New York City. It’s about 50-50,” she said.
“And let’s look at upstate, Central New York, places like that, where 79 percent are admitted due to real COVID — that they’re sick enough from COVID that they have to be hospitalized — vs. 21 percent who happen to be there for another reason and test positive.
“So, that’s a very interesting snapshot of what’s going on across the state,” the governor said. “But what a variation we’re seeing.”
Hochul released the numbers after announcing Monday that she was ordering hospitals — which make daily COVID hospitalization reports through the state’s online Health Emergency Response Data System — to start differentiating why their patients with COVID-19 were initially admitted.
“Think of all the other reasons people end up in a hospital,” Hochul said Friday.
“You know, it’s an overdose, it’s a car accident, it’s a heart attack. So, I wanted to drill down into those numbers.”
Hochul didn’t detail the breakdown from Thursday, and those numbers weren’t included in the data released by her office later in the day.
On Thursday, the state Health Department refused to release its calculations on the issue, saying officials needed time to “ensure consistency and data integrity.”
Also during Hochul’s news conference, Dr. Steven Corwin, CEO of the New York-Presbyterian healthcare network, said there were “about 1,200 cases in our hospital system,” of whom “about 50 percent are admitted with COVID and 50 percent admitted for COVID.”
“Fifty percent are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 50 percent have two doses of the vaccine,” but he didn’t specify which among them were admitted for symptoms of COVID-19.
He also said there was “thankfully, very little in the way of children being admitted, which we hope will continue” and said those cases were also divided “50 percent with COVID, 50 percent for COVID.”
Friday’s figures were released amid the continuing surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month said had become the country’s dominant strain of the coronavirus.
A study of 915 children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 during July and August — when the deadlier Delta variant became predominant — found that about 78 percent were admitted for acute symptoms of the disease, while about 20 percent had “incidental” infections.
The remaining 2 percent had “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children” — also known as MIS-C — a severe illness that includes evidence of current or recent coronavirus infection, according to a report posted on the CDC Web site.
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