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COVID Omicron: New York adjusts patient intake reporting amid hospitalization surge

NEW YORK (WABC) — Amid mounting concern over surging hospitalization numbers, the state of New York is adjusting the way patients are admitted.

Starting today hospitals have to clarify if patients with COVID came in for COVID symptoms or for something else.

That’s because a number of those hospitalized for COVID in the last few weeks only found out they had it after being admitted for a separate issue.

With hospitalizations on the rise, NY Governor Kathy Hochul says “we are not in a good place.”

Right now more than 9,000 New Yorkers are in the hospital for COVID statewide, eclipsing the number from last year’s winter surge.

And there were 103 COVID-related deaths reported Sunday.

But the situation is still not as bad as it was at the start of the pandemic.

Cases now remain less severe, with fewer people in ICUs than in previous surges.

“These numbers are rather shocking, when you think about where we are,” the governor said. “But we have to remind everyone, this is not the first strain of COVID-19. This is not the delta. People are testing positive at a much higher rate, but the severity of the illness is far less than we’ve seen before. Shocking in the scale and number of people testing positive, but also grateful, so grateful, we are not seeing, now it’s been with us for a solid month now, literally, a month later, we can say with certainty that the cases are not presenting themselves as severely as we could have or we had feared. That is the silver lining.”

Meantime in New York City, fears over COVID spread led to poor attendance Monday in city schools.

RELATED | NYC schools open, Mayor Eric Adams says kids safe despite COVID-19 surge

Just 67% of students came to class yesterday, the first day back from winter break.

The nation’s largest school district is also facing a staffing shortage due to sick calls.

But Mayor Eric Adams continues to urge parents to send their children to school.

“When you look at the fact that last year, only less than 1% of infection rates took place in schools, when you’re home is over 15%…. This is the most important thing we can do, is keep our schools open and allow children receive the support that they deserve,” Adams said.

They are also doing more random testing in classrooms, but only if parents consent.

And right now the parents of about 340,000 students have not consented.

That means a third of NYC’s student population not eligible to get tested.

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