Over 5,000 New Yorkers hospitalized for COVID-19

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ALBANY — Over 5,000 New Yorkers are now hospitalized for COVID-19 — the most since May — as the pandemic rages in a second wave resurgence, according to new data released by the state Department of Health Thursday night. 

State health officials said 5,164 individuals are presently hospitalized statewide, an increase of 171 patients since midnight Wednesday.

A total of 994 were in intensive care units for coronavirus treatment as of Thursday night, 42 more than were in ICUs at midnight Wednesday.

New York City’s 2,351 ICU beds are nearly 80 percent occupied with patients of all kinds, the DOH said.

Meanwhile, the state’s coronavirus fatality rate has shot up since midnight Wednesday; since then, 92 patients lost their battle with the deadly bug as of Thursday night.

By comparison, 74 people died from COVID-19 on Monday. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has targeted hospital capacity as the state’s chief focus as cases increase and the largest source of virus spread is tied to indoor gatherings — over 70 percent according to state contact tracing data. 

The DOH has set strict perimeters for the state’s public and private hospital systems, lest individual facilities become overwhelmed in an attempt to avoid crowded ICUs and overburdened systems — as was seen during the pandemic’s first wave last spring. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference at his NYC office.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matthew McDermott

“As we continue to see the number COVID-19 cases surge across the nation, it is beyond critical that we ensure hospitals, and hospital systems as a whole, have developed additional capacity and are prepared to work cooperatively with each other to prevent any one facility from becoming overwhelmed,” Cuomo said in a statement Thursday. 

“With this work already underway through the state’s Surge and Flex program, we also continue to fight to ensure the vaccine’s distribution is as fair and equitable as possible.”

Over 18,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized for the virus in April, with nurses and doctors enduring nightmarish conditions and personal protective equipment shortages.

Cuomo has begun halting elective surgeries in upstate’s Erie County, and has said additional restrictions like a shutdown of indoor dining in New York City could occur again if hospitalizations continue to rise. 

Meanwhile, the statewide positivity rate rests at 5.15 percent, slightly down from Wednesday’s daily rate of 5.45 percent. 

Overall, 27,498 lives have been lost to confirmed COVID-19 cases since March. 

Johns Hopkins University has tracked 33,183 confirmed and presumed coronavirus deaths, as New York City tracks both categories, but the state does not.