ALBANY — Hospitalizations have increased in New York alongside an alarming spike in coronavirus cases that have caused Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reinstate cluster containment zones and shut down schools in specific areas.
A total of 878 New Yorkers were hospitalized as of Monday — an increase of nearly 60 patients compared to Sunday’s data recording 820 hospitalized individuals.
“The largest single identifiable addition is from the micro-clusters,” Cuomo told reporters during an afternoon phone conference.
“Remember we were at 18,000 hospitalized so the hospitalization number to us is more relevant as an indicator for where people are, where the cases are coming from again, right?”
Last week the governor instituted a new “hotspot” cluster zone map including portions of Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Rockland, Orange and Broome Counties.
Red, orange and yellow “zones” have been set up where positive virus infection rates have ballooned into double digits — blowing past the Empire State’s cumulative, statewide infection rate that had been hovering around one percent for several months.
Restrictions in these areas include temporary school closures, as well as closures of nonessential businesses like restaurants and gyms, and are set to last through the next two weeks after which they will be reevaluated.
Cuomo has reminded reporters during conference calls that infection rates in hotspots are so high partially because the state has been “oversampling,” or over testing in those areas.
The statewide infection rate recorded as of midnight is 1.1 percent, but the independently, cluster zones have a combined 3.7 percent positivity rate.
“Testing tells you where the cases are, hospitalizations tell you where the serious cases are, and that’s why we track the hospitalizations the way we do,” he said.
“In New York it’s a micro-cluster, and we’re going to be doing more of this wherever we find a concentration of cases relative to our norm, that is a micro-cluster.”
“New York State has hot spots, which is a term we used in the state, but it’s not nationwide. A hot spot, it’s nationwide. A cool spot compared to where other states are, right? And it’s because we’re this diligent that we keep the number down,” he added.
Meanwhile, 12 New Yorkers lost their battle with the virus, in addition to 185 patients checked into the ICU and 86 intubated individuals.
Overall, 33,294 individuals have died of confirmed or presumed virus cases since March according to data from Johns Hopkins University, or 25,587 according to the state Health Department which only tracks confirmed deaths.