In an effort to offer a next level of analysis into the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that more than 100 hospitals across the state have begun submitting new survey information about who is getting hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The governor said preliminary results show the vast majority of cases are coming from people who say they are staying home as social distancing guidelines remain in place.
The early results announced Wednesday, during the governor’s media briefing at Northwell Health’s The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, was based on information provided about 1,269 patients at 113 New York hospitals over a three-day stretch.
The governor said 18 percent of newly hospitalized patients are coming from Long Island.
“That’s a number that jumps out of you,” he said.
The governor also announced Wednesday that Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt will play key roles in the “reimagining of New York.” Mr. Schmidt will lead a blue ribbon commission on how New York can reposition itself for future pandemics, learning from lessons of the coronavirus. Mr. Dowling will help shape future guidelines for a statewide hospital system during a future health crisis, similar to how hospitals have worked together in recent months.
Here are some of the facts the governor shared about new hospitalizations:
Minorities make up a “disproportionate” amount of new cases, the governor said. Men are also still accounting for 52% of hospitalizations. About 96% of fatalities are among New Yorker’s with pre-existing conditions.
Where are they coming from?
Two-thirds of all new patients surveyed live at home. About 18% came from nursing homes and 4% from assisted-living facilities.
How old are they?
It’s no surprise that older patients are more likely to be hospitalized, but Governor Cuomo stressed that “50 is now old” at his briefing Wednesday. About 14% of newly hospitalized patients are in their 50s, a quarter are under 50 and majority of those hospitalized are 60 and above. The age group with the most newly hospitalized patients — at 1 in 5 — is patients in their 60s.
Where do they work?
The governor said the thought that a majority of newly hospitalized patients are essential workers who are coming into contact with the virus is simply not true. Instead he said a majority is retired or unemployed workers, which account for 83 percent of the new cases. Only 17 percent ar currently working, he said.
The majority of newly hospitalized patients are:
• Not working
• Not traveling
• Live downstate
• Over 50
• Non-essential workers
• Mostly staying home
“That’s only three days, just about 100 hospitals,” the governor said. “This all comes down to what you do to protect yourself.”
Wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and staying home are still the three most important things you can do, Mr. Cuomo concluded.
Ultimately, the governor said the number of new cases — 2,239 statewide — is “still problematic” and symbolic of “a painfully slow plateau.” And he said with information constantly changing, the problem remains even larger than the data indicates.
“You have to deal with facts and deal with data and use that to guide you,” he said. “[That is] even more important during times of high emotion.”
Bellone reports decline in hospitalizations in Suffolk County
After reporting hospitalization increases on consecutive days, County Executive Steve Bellone said Wednesday that the number of patients in Suffolk hospitals has declined.
Mr. Bellone said 85 patients were discharged Tuesday into Wednesday and the overall decline was by a total of 62 patients. There are now 773 COVID-19 patients in area hospitals.
“That is a great result today,” he said. “I’m very happy to see that and particularly happy to see the number of the decline. Sixty-two is a significant increase.”
Thee number of intensive care patients also declined.