A day after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul shared optimism over COVID case trends showing a slowing rate of growth, the state experienced another record-breaking day with 90,132 new positive cases reported Saturday.
Hochul reported 82,094 new COVID cases on Friday, which was a drop of a few hundred from the previous day and about 3,300 positives shy of the old single-day pandemic record of 85,476 she reported on New Year’s Day.
The 90,132 new positives account for roughly 21% of a whopping 425,782 total COVID-19 tests taken across the state. More than one in five New York COVID tests are coming back positive these days, and the city’s seven-day rolling average for positive tests is currently one in three.
“Our vaccination rate among children is still too low. parents and guardians don’t delay in getting your children vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. It’s safe and widely available. This is the one of the best ways to keep our numbers down, as well as wearing a mask and staying home if sick,” the governor said in Saturday’s daily COVID release.
Also on Friday, the state revealed pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased eight-fold in New York from early December to late month, with the vast majority of those kids unvaccinated.
The new report follows on an ominous Christmas Eve advisory to pediatricians, warning that hospitalizations were quickly on the rise as the omicron variant tore through the state.
Friday’s report indicates the situation only continued to get worse after that. In the week that ended Jan. 1, there were 571 pediatric COVID hospitalizations statewide, the New York State Department of Health said, up from 70 just weeks previously.
Hospitalizations stand at 11,843 statewide as of Saturday, the highest total since April 28, 2020, and mark a nearly 300-patient increase over the last day. Nearly half of current admissions are in New York City.
“It’s still a number that’s very high. If this correlates properly to our number of cases then hospitalizations should start to see the beginnings of a plateau,” Hochul said.
Of those admitted, 91% of kids ages 5-11 were unvaccinated, as well as 65% of kids ages 12 to 17.
But overall, more than half of the hospitalizations were in kids ages 4 and under, who aren’t eligible for vaccines yet. Kids under age 4 represent about a quarter of all kids in the state, meaning they’re being hospitalized at about double their proportion of the population.
In New York City alone, where the split is most notable at 50-50, there is the second-highest adult full vaccination rate (84.3%) of the state’s 10 regions behind only Long Island (86.6%), where one of the two county executives has been warring with the state over mask and other enhanced COVID protocol as of late. COVID hospitalizations in those 18 and under increased 17-fold, more than double the growth rate for the population as a whole.
Vaccination rates among children, whose hospitalization rates soared statewide in New York last month, vary more widely. More than 19.4% of NYC kids aged 5-11 are fully vaccinated, as are 71.8% of kids aged 12 to 17. On Long Island, those numbers are 16.2% and 64.6%, respectively.
The head of the CDC, meanwhile, said Friday she doesn’t think the United States has hit omicron’s peak yet. But that could happen sooner than expected if the numbers in New York this week are any indication of what might come next.
“The number of cases are rising faster than the number of hospitalizations and deaths, although we’re now starting to see the number of hospitalizations rise as well,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky told NBC’s “TODAY” in a Friday interview. “The way it has peaked in other countries, in South Africa, it has come down rapidly as well, but I don’t believe we’ve seen the peak yet here in the United States.”
Source: NBC News New York. For the full article, click here https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/coronavirus/ny-covid-cases-top-90k-as-dozens-of-upstate-hospitals-halt-elective-surgeries/3486369/