State profiles COVID-19 patients for clues to thwart pandemic

Survey shows inpatients typically older, disproportionately minority downstate residents
Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media Wednesday in Long Island.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media Wednesday in Long Island.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

MANHASSET — Trying to continue progress slowing the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, state officials are taking a closer look at the hundreds of people still being hospitalized statewide each day with the virus.

Roughly 600 were admitted to hospitals on Tuesday alone, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday during his daily briefing, delivered from Long Island. While that’s far below the 3,000-plus admitted daily as the pandemic peaked in New York a month ago, it’s enough to be worrisome, he said.

“With everything we’ve done … you still have 600 new cases that walked in the door yesterday,” Cuomo said. “Where are those new cases still coming from? Because we’ve done everything we can to close down.”

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Last Friday, the state asked hospitals to conduct a survey of each new COVID inpatient admitted and each previously admitted patient newly confirmed to have COVID. On Wednesday, the governor discussed the results.

Here are some details about the results of 1,269 surveys of newly admitted patients at 113 hospitals over a three-day period:

  • 96% had other serious health problems;
  • 57% live in New York City, 29% in its suburbs and 14% in the other 53 counties;
  • 66% live at home, 18% at a nursing home and 4% at an assisted living facility;
  • 75% are older than age 50;
  • 84% who work are working from home rather than commuting;
  • 46% are unemployed, 37% retired and 17% employed;
  • 38% are black or Latino, 38% are white.

Gathering these statistics is part of a continuing effort to further control a pandemic known to have killed 1 out of every 1,000 New Yorkers over the last two months and suspected of having claimed more. Cuomo — whose shutdown of the economy has put more than 1.6 million people out of work and substantially limited social interaction — wants to limit the pandemic as much as possible before reopening the economy.

On Wednesday, he displayed side-by-side charts showing new confirmed cases gradually decreasing over the last three weeks in New York and steadily increasing in the other 49 states.

“The numbers for the rest of the nation are going up,” Cuomo said. “To me that vindicates what we’re doing here in New York, which says follow the science, follow the data. What we’re doing here shows results.”

The state has to reopen and “people have to be able to live their lives,” said the governor, who has been pressed to end his restrictions quickly but is instead plotting a gradual restart, piece-by-piece, region-by-region.

“It’s not a question of do we reopen, it’s a question of how we reopen,” Cuomo said.

STATISTICS

The state Department of Health reported Wednesday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 323,978 statewide and the number of deaths reached 19,877.

In the Capital Region, Albany County reported two more deaths, bringing the total to date to 53, not counting fatalities at the Teresian House Nursing Home, where numerous residents have died from the virus.

Also Wednesday, Warren County reported four COVID deaths — three nursing home residents and one resident of an assisted living facility. Twenty one of the 23 Warren County residents who have died of COVID infections have been residents of elder-care facilities.

Statewide, nursing home and adult-care residents, with their advanced age and underlying health problems, have been hard hit by the pandemic. The state has been unable to accurately count the deaths due to errors, omissions and inconsistencies in the data provided by the 1,157 facilities. The state’s online list of fatalities was not updated by early Wednesday evening.

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The Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.
Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.
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