Schenectady

COVID hospitalization hits seven-month lows in Capital Region, Mohawk Valley

Signage on lawns outside Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs on August 13, 2021, during the increasing number of hospitalizations. COVID-related hospitalizations in the New York area have hit a seven-month low
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Signage on lawns outside Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs on August 13, 2021, during the increasing number of hospitalizations. COVID-related hospitalizations in the New York area have hit a seven-month low

ALBANY — New York hospitals on Thursday reported fewer than 1,000 COVID-positive inpatients for the first time since Aug. 4, 2021.

Hospitalization rates are one of the best measures of the pandemic, and the 978 COVID patients on Thursday compares with a recent peak of 12,761 on Jan. 11, state Department of Health data show.

The steep drop is even better news than it appears on its face: Only 404 (or 41%) of those 978 inpatients were admitted due to COVID or its complications. The rest had mild or no symptoms, and were admitted for other medical reasons, or their infection was detected after admission.

All 10 regions of New York have shown substantial declines in hospitalization.

Locally, Capital Region hospitals had 54 COVID-positive inpatients Thursday, the fewest since Aug. 3, and just five were being treated in intensive care units. About 67% originally were admitted due to COVID.

Mohawk Valley hospitals had 26 COVID-positive inpatients Thursday, the fewest since Aug. 12, and just three were in an ICU. About 46% originally were admitted due to COVID.

For individual area hospitals, the patient load is done by as much as 95% — two of the smallest hospitals don’t even have any COVID patients at the moment. 

In the following list, the smaller number is the count of COVID-postive inpatients Thursday, the larger number is the peak patient census in the past four months:

  • Albany Medical Center Hospital 13/133
  • Cobleskill Regional 0/6
  • Ellis Hospital 6/51
  • Glens Falls Hospital 10/52 
  • Little Falls Hospital 0/8
  • Nathan Littauer 1/15
  • St. Mary’s Healthcare 4/24
  • St. Peter’s Hospital 11/95
  • Saratoga Hospital 5/54
  • Samaritan Hospital 3/58

Meanwhile, the percentage of lab-confirmed new infections also has plummeted.

Statewide, the seven-day average positive test rate stood at 1.8% Thursday, down from a peak of 22.5% on Jan. 5.

The Capital Region’s positive rate was 2.5%, down from a peak of 19.8% on Jan. 7.

The Mohawk Valley’s positive rate was 3.0%, down from a peak of 17.8% on Jan. 13.

The seven-day positive test rates for local counties:

  • Albany 2.5%
  • Fulton 7.1%
  • Montgomery 4.7%
  • Rensselaer 1.6%
  • Saratoga 3.5%
  • Schenectady 2.2%
  • Schoharie 3.5%

Fulton County, which is one of the least-vaccinated counties in New York, currently holds the second-highest positive test rate in the state.

Only neighboring Hamilton County was higher, at 7.9%, but its population is so tiny that its statistics may not be comparable. Just 13 Hamilton County residents’ tests were logged Thursday out of 128,877 statewide.

The lowest seven-day positive rate as of Thursday was in Bronx county: 0.8%.

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