New York hospitals fill as state sees most Covid-19 cases since January

As at Dec 2, 2021, 56 hospitals in New York state had a bed capacity of 10 per cent or less. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - New York state has reported 11,300 new Covid-19 cases, the most since January, as dozens of hospitals neared capacity.

The total number of patients hospitalised for the virus has climbed by more than 1,000 in a month, reaching 3,093 on Wednesday (Dec 1).

As at Thursday, 56 hospitals in the state had a bed capacity of 10 per cent or less, including Albany Medical Centre Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Long Island Jewish Medical Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, according to the state health department.

Governor Kathy Hochul last week issued an executive order, which takes effect on Friday, allowing state officials to limit non-essential hospital procedures in an effort to increase bed capacity and address staff shortages.

Hospitals in New York with less than 10 per cent capacity would be targeted. Not all of the 56 would be affected by the final guidance, and the health department said it continued to work with the hospital systems.

New York is not the only state seeing the effects of a colder-weather virus surge and holiday gatherings.

Hospital admissions are higher in 39 states, stressing the country's healthcare system.

The seven-day average of hospital admissions with confirmed Covid-19 has climbed 18 per cent in the past two weeks to 6,691, the highest since Oct 13, according to data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

New York's surge is the worst in Western New York and the Finger Lakes, which both have positive test rates of more than 10 per cent. New York City, which has fared the best so far, saw its rate jump above 2 per cent on Thursday.

Ms Hochul during a Covid-19 briefing on Thursday urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated, saying the rise in cases and hospitalisations is the result of people not getting the vaccine.

"We're not anywhere near where we were in 2020, but we never want to get anywhere close," Ms Hochul said.

As at Thursday, 66.7 per cent of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.

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