Less than 2,000 in N.Y. hospitalized for COVID

Sarah Catalone, LPN, does some paperwork before giving a vaccination at the Syracuse VA Medical Center drive-through Covid-19 vaccination clinic for veterans in its parking garage in April. Syracuse.com

ALBANY — The number of people in New York hospitals with COVID-19 has dropped below 2,000 for the first time since August.

Hospitalizations fell to 1,996 as of Tuesday and 1,952 Wednesday. It’s the first time since Aug. 21 hospitalizations were under 2,000.

The number of people in intensive care units is also down. As of Wednesday, the total was 469, down from 525 Oct. 1.

Both hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases have been falling in New York for weeks.

Hospitalizations are down over 15% since Sept. 1. The seven-day average of new cases per day has dropped over 26% since Sept. 1 to 3,517 as of Wednesday.

The declines come after cases and hospitalizations surged over the summer as the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus spread throughout New York.

Despite the drops, most counties in the state are still experiencing high levels of Covid transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oswego and Oneida counties.

The CDC recommends masks indoors for even vaccinated people at that level of transmission.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid in Central New York has also dipped, according to state data. The positive test rate’s seven-day average in the region was 4.28% as of Wednesday, down from an extended period when it was over 5%.

The statewide seven-day average was 2.08% Wednesday.

Deaths and hospitalizations are both lagging indicators of Covid spread since it takes time for someone to get sick enough with the illness to end up in the hospital and eventually die from it. As cases decline, hospitalizations and deaths should continue to follow.

State and local officials have continued to push vaccination as the best tool to fight the pandemic. A total of 73.8% of all New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 66.3% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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