NY governor warns that COVID hospitalizations have hit their highest rate since February

NY governor warns that COVID hospitalizations have hit their highest rate since February

With the highly infectious Omicron variant surging all over the United States, residents of New York City have been waiting in long lines for hours to receive a COVID-19 test. And this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that hospitalizations in New York State have passed 5,500 for the first time since February.

Jennifer Millman, a reporter for New York City’s WNBC-TV Channel 4, explained, “As of Monday, statewide hospitalizations stand at 5,526 — the highest total since February 23 and a near 190% increase since November 1 alone. That's still well short of the 7,000 New Yorkers who were hospitalized with COVID this time last year, and the sheer volume of Omicron infections will likely translate to some more severe cases by default, especially among the unvaccinated, Hochul says.”

A major change since December 2020 is the fact that millions of people in New York State have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top White House medical adviser, has been stressing that if one is infected with the Omicron variant, it is much safer to be vaccinated than unvaccinated.

Hochul warned, “I have to acknowledge, the numbers are continuing to climb. This has not been a surprise to us, particularly since we started taking precautions, warning about the winter surge since early October.... and also, knowing full well this could be a very vulnerable time given how quickly this mutation, Omicron, transmits.”

READ: West Virginia native explains why history 'will not be kind' to Joe Manchin

For medical workers in New York City, reports about how infectious Omicron is brings back painful memories of the COVID-19 surge the five boroughs suffered during the spring of 2020. Hospitals in NYC were overwhelmed during that pre-vaccine time, but Hochul stressed that even with Omicron, her state is in a much better position than it was back then.

“This is not March of 2020,” Millman quotes Hochul as saying. “We have tools at our disposal. The question is how we're deploying them.”

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