U.S. COVID death toll tops 401,000; 1 in 10 victims were New Yorkers

ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE Patients arrive to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Saratoga County Public Safety building in Ballston Spa on Jan. 7.
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ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Patients arrive to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Saratoga County Public Safety building in Ballston Spa on Jan. 7.

ALBANY — The number of deaths blamed on COVID-19 surpassed 400,000 in the United States on Tuesday.

Johns Hopkins University placed the death toll at 401,361 late Tuesday, and according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, over 40,000 of those deaths have been in New York state, or more than 1 in 10 nationwide.

The New York state Department of Health placed the state’s death toll at 33,224 on Tuesday — it uses different parameters for counting a death as COVID-related than the CDC.

The state total included 167 new names Monday, including three residents of Schenectady County, two each in Albany, Columbia, Saratoga and Warren counties, and one each in Fulton and Montgomery counties.

The official state death toll by county of residence Tuesday stood at:

  • Albany 257
  • Columbia 71
  • Greene 59
  • Fulton 53
  • Montgomery 75
  • Rensselaer 104
  • Saratoga 82
  • Schenectady 127
  • Schoharie 5
  • Warren 40
  • Washington 24

The CDC’s online dashboard lagged two days behind on Tuesday and still had not been updated as of 8:30 p.m. It indicated New York was fourth in number of deaths and third in number of new infections among the 50 states in the preceding week.

Since the start of the pandemic in January 2020, New York City has had the highest death rate, 310 per 100,000 residents, followed by New Jersey (229), Massachusetts (196) and Rhode Island (189). The rest of the New York state — which the CDC tallies separately from New York City — is well down on the list, at 131.

These numbers point to the timing of the pandemic: It hit New York City, New Jersey and southern New England earliest, before effective treatments were developed and practiced.

Upstate New York was spared the worst of the first infection surge, but is being hit harder than New York City in the second surge. For the previous week, the number of deaths and the per-capita death rate were both substantially lower in New York City than in the rest of the state.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

In other COVID-related news Tuesday:

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York continues to see progress after a post-holiday surge of infections and he encouraged New Yorkers to continue taking precautions against spread.
  • The seven-day rolling average of positive tests is 6.3% statewide, 7.8% in the Mohawk Valley (highest of the state’s 10 regions), and 7.2% in the Capital Region. By county, the rate is: Albany 7.9%, Fulton 11.1%, Montgomery 9.1%, Rensselaer 6.7%, Saratoga 7.9%, Schenectady 6.3% and Schoharie 9.4%.
  • COVID-positive patient census in hospitals reached 9,236 statewide; 552 of those are in the Capital Region, the most ever, including 159 at Albany Med and 86 at Ellis Hospital. Capital Region hospitals are down to 19% available ICU beds on a seven-day average, the lowest of any region in the state.
  • Albany Medical Center, the largest hospital in northeast New York, reported 81% of its employees have been vaccinated and said it would survey the remaining 19% about why they’ve refused to be vaccinated.

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