‘An Alarm Is Going Off:’ The COVID Spike Has Put 32 Hospitals On ‘Pause,’ Hochul Is Considering Policy Changes

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Gov. Kathy Hochul stated unequivocally Thursday that the omicron COVID variant is rapidly spreading around New York due to community transmission rather than travel-related contact, but it is not her major worry.

The government is “up at night” about hospital capacity, the Democrat said, as she revealed that nearly three dozen healthcare facilities across the 32 state had to halt non-essential medical interventions starting immediately as a “preemptive strike” to secure ability with delta, not omicron, driving rapidly rising bed use.

Hochul stated that the state will reconsider the pauses on January 15. They apply to hospitals with fewer than 10% available bed capacity.

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It wasn’t immediately apparent how many of those hospitals were in the New York City region, but COVID hospitalizations have skyrocketed in the five boroughs and across the state in recent days.

In the city, the spike has been restricted to the last two days following a long period of stable or falling hospitalizations, and it is only approximately 6% on a rolling weekly basis. According to Hochul, the total for the state as of Thursday was 3,498.

Related Topic: Since Friday, Butler Memorial Hospital Has Reported 14 COVID-19 Deaths

This is the greatest number since April 21 and an 86 percent rise in only one month. These increases, according to Hochul, are like “an alarm going off.” To shore up resources for the time being, she has extended the eligible healthcare and vaccine workforce and permitted out-of-state and out-of-country specialists to practice in the city.

Hochul also stated that she will make a policy declaration on Friday regarding further efforts required to confront “this looming wave,” which she had warned about in her first days as governor.

She hoped it wouldn’t come to that, but she noted that while vaccination rates were growing, they weren’t keeping up with the spike in hospitalizations and illnesses.

Is this due to the fact that newer variations are growing more resistant to vaccines? That is still under examination.

What is certain is that the omicron variety is extremely contagious. And that delta, which still accounts for 99.9 percent of all sequenced samples in the United States, as well as 98.9 percent and 99.8 percent of those sequenced in New York state and city, respectively, is still connected to more severe disease and higher mortality rates among the unvaccinated.

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