New data shows almost half of reported NY COVID-19 hospitalizations are not due to virus

Newly released data about COVID hospitalizations in New York raised eyebrows when the breakdown showed nearly half of those admissions were not due to the virus.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released information on Friday differentiating between patients who were admitted to hospitals in the state because of COVID-related issues and those who were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for the virus.

A chart was included in the report, noting “data that shows how many hospitalized individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 were admitted for COVID-19/COVID-19 complications and how many were admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions.”

The chart showed as of December 7 that 6,620 or  57% of the hospital admissions were “due to COVID or complications of COVID” while 4,928 or 43% of those admitted to hospitals statewide were cases “where COVID was not included as one of the reasons for admission.”

The numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City were even more significant, showing that 51% were not due to COVID-19 or related symptoms. According to a chart, 2,992 people were admitted to New York City hospitals because of the virus but 3,060 were hospitalized for reasons other than COVID-19.

“This is much higher than I would have expected and much higher than what was observed in London,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted in reaction. “Unclear why we’d see so much incidental infection. I’m hearing similar stats in NJ and CT hospitals. Creates some concern could be spreading by contact with healthcare system itself.”

The state’s Democratic governor assured New Yorkers her administration is doing all it can and called on residents to make a “concerted effort” to get vaccinated and boosted.

“My administration is hard at work making testing, vaccines, boosters and masks more widely available to fight this winter surge,” Hochul said in a statement.

“While we are prepared to deal with whatever comes our way using the tools we know are effective, it will take a concerted effort on the part of every New Yorker to beat this pandemic and protect our loved ones,” she added. “Get your vaccine if you haven’t yet and the booster if you have, mask up, exercise caution while in indoor public spaces and we’ll make it through this – together.”

New York came under fire last month when it was announced that non-white people would be prioritized when the low supply of COVID-19 treatments is being doled out.

Angry reactions poured in over the true numbers in New York, raising questions about why it has taken this long into the pandemic to make the distinctions.

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Frieda Powers

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