N.Y. Hospitals’ Covid Burden Lingers Even as More Patients Live

The number of Covid-19 patients per capita in New York hospitals is among the nation’s highest and declining more slowly than after the first wave that decimated state residents.

The numbers show the Empire State is still very much in the throes of the pandemic, but the crowded hospitals may reflect increased success in keeping patients alive. The number of patients has dropped 46% to 5,516 since the latest peak on Jan. 19, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services data. That’s compared with 75% in the same time frame after the first wave.

N.Y. Hospitals’ Covid Burden Lingers Even as More Patients Live

But the numbers fell so quickly from April to June 2020 in part because many patients died. This time is different. A study of one New York City health system showed adjusted mortality of Covid-19 hospital patients fell to 7.6% by August from a staggering 25.6% at the start of the pandemic.

The virus remains prevalent in New York, and public-health officials say that new admissions with confirmed or suspected Covid -- while down -- are occurring at a rate that’s worrisomely high.

Yet hospitalizations are dropping among the most elderly, who have accounted for the vast majority of Covid fatalities, according to the Covid-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network. That’s likely a reflection of the vaccine campaign, which has inoculated more than 65% of U.S. seniors.

New Yorkers’ response to the pandemic has also changed, for better or worse. Although the state has been among the most conservative at reopening in 2021, several mobility metrics tracked by Google Community Mobility Reports suggest it’s about halfway back to its prepandemic baseline.

  • The U.S. posted 38,175 Covid-19 cases Sunday, bringing the seven-day average to 51,820, the lowest since Oct. 13, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
  • There have been almost 535,000 deaths in the U.S. as of early Monday.

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