ALBANY — The early-winter surge of COVID in New York shows continued signs of flattening or even declining, with the number of new infections each day of the past week significantly lower than in late December or early January.
The progress is relative — the number of lab-confirmed positive tests each day is still far higher than the highest one-day total in the first 21 months of the pandemic.
But the number of people hospitalized with COVID also has begun to decline, both for the state as a whole and individually in some of its regions.
Some statistical snapshots from New York’s battle with omicron from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15:
- New York never had more than 20,000 positive tests in one day before Dec. 16, 2021, and has not had fewer than 20,000 since.
- A total of 1,632,563 positive tests were lab-confirmed from Dec. 15, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022. That’s a 293% increase from the 414,983 confirmed in the same period a year earlier.
- Peak hospitalization so far in January 2022 was 12,671 patients, compared with 9,273 in January 2021, but more than 40% of COVID-positive patients in 2022 originally were admitted for reasons other than COVID.
- A total of 3,310 deaths were attributed to COVID in the 30-day period of 2021-2022 vs. 4,625 a year earlier.
“I’m proud of the work New Yorkers have been putting in to keep the numbers down and protect our vulnerable loved ones,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a prepared statement Monday.
“While we are continuing to see promising trends, we are not through the winter surge yet and it is critical that we continue to use the tools that will help stop the spread. Our best weapon is the vaccine, so if you haven’t, get your shot today and make sure you get your second dose and booster as well.”
The omicron variant blamed for this surge is widely believed to be more easily spread but less likely to cause serious symptoms or death than previous variants of the COVID virus.
From Dec. 15, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022, the eight-county Capital Region, home to 1.1 million people, saw 52,374 confirmed infections out of 342,714 tests performed, a 15.3% positive test rate.
The COVID-positive patient census in hospitals ranged as low as 238 and as high as 412.
A total of 158 COVID deaths were recorded.
Some other data points:
- On a seven-day average, the Capital Region is running a 17.1% positive test average. This includes Albany (17.4%), Rensselaer (17.2%), Saratoga (18.4%) and Schenectady (14.5%) counties. The statewide average is 15.7%.
- A total of 411 people were hospitalized with COVID in the Capital Region on Sunday; 73% of them originally were admitted for COVID, the second-highest percentage among the state’s 10 regions.
- Across the region, 14% of the region’s hospital beds were available for new patients Sunday, compared with 19% statewide. Patient counts included Albany Med, 115; St. Peter’s, 88; Ellis, 48; Saratoga, 42; and Glens Falls, 27.
- Saratoga County (38) and Albany County (36) have seen the highest death toll in the region in the past month, but as a percentage of population, Warren (12) and Washington County (11) are substantially higher.
From Dec. 15, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022, the six-county Mohawk Valley region, home to 483,000 people, saw 20,492 confirmed infections out of 145,978 tests performed, a 14% positive test rate.
The COVID-positive patient census in hospitals ranged as low as 118 and as high as 158.
A total of 115 COVID deaths were recorded.
Some other data points:
- On a seven-day average, the Mohawk Valley is running a 16.7% positive test average. This includes Fulton (20.3%), Montgomery (19.9%) and Schoharie (18.6%) counties. The statewide average is 15.7%.
- A total of 154 people were hospitalized with COVID in the region on Sunday; 73% of them originally were admitted for COVID, the second-highest percentage among the state’s 10 regions.
- Across the region, 11% of hospital beds were available for new patients Sunday, compared with 19% statewide. Patient counts included St. Mary’s, 16; Nathan Littauer, 15; and Cobleskill Regional, four.
- Oneida County, with nearly half the region’s residents, accounted for nearly half the region’s COVID deaths in the past month — 52; Montgomery County’s 22 fatalities was a significantly higher rate per-capita.
Data are provided by the state Department of Health. Death statistics count only fatalities in hospitals, nursing homes and other adult care facilities, and not other settings. State positive test results count only lab-confirmed tests, and not consumer-oriented rapid test kits.
More from The Daily Gazette: