Medical Technology

The Latest COVID Spike isn’t swamming NYC Hospitals the Way It Was Before

NEW YORK (AP) -the soaring number of COVID-19 cases, long testing lines and cancellations of events might feel a bit like déjà vu but, so far New York City hospitals aren’t experiencing the same floods that flooded emergency rooms early in the pandemic.

The report from the state on Saturday said that nearly 22,000 people had tested positive to COVID-19 Friday. This is more than the previous record of the highest single-day amount of cases that have been discovered since the testing became widely available. More than half of those with positive results were found in the city.

The Rockettes on Friday cancelled all remaining performances of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and cited “increasing challenges from the pandemic,” the lines at certain testing sites in the city stretched for the block and home-based tests remained hard to come by or cost more than normal.

However, the number of hospitalizations and deaths, as of now are far below spring 2020 peak, and even lower than they were last year during a winter storm that brought about vaccinations, according to data from cities.

According to Dr. Eric Legome, who oversees two of the seven ERs within Mount Sinai Health System, the emergency rooms have seen 20% more patients with all kinds of illnesses in the last few days. He said that so far, however, “we’re seeing more treat-and-release coronavirus patients” than we did in previous waves.

Many people are seeking tests, treatment for mild or moderate symptoms, or treatment for monoclonal antibodies. However, only a few require oxygen or hospital stay. He manages the ERs at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai Morningside.

Hospital admissions and deaths are known to increase and decrease in the weeks following incidents occur. However, Dr. Fritz Francois, the chief of hospital operations for NYU Langone Health, says so far, “we’re actually seeing something different” than in previous surges.

He said that patients suffering from COVID-19 are returning home much faster.

NYU Langone has noticed a slight increase in the number of patients suffering from COVID-19, now totaling around 80 in its various hospitals in New York City. Francois said that this is about 80percent less than the winter’s peak.

NYU Langone is constantly updating its plans to deal with an increase in enrollment, but such preparedness just “is the norm,” he said.

Northwell Health’s vast system declares “we’ll do it again in the event of need,” but vaccines and nearly two decades of experience provide an entirely different story, according to Dr. John D’Angelo.

He said, “I’m confident that we’ll get this through however there are certain issues this time. I think we’ll need to consider more attentively.”

One of these is the possibility of additional staff being sick or in quarantine due to omicron spreading in a period when hospitals across the nation are in dire need of staff. Northwell fired about 1,400 employees, which is roughly 2 percent — for refusing vaccination. D’Angelo said that the hospital has enough staff to meet its anticipated needs.

Northwell the largest healthcare system owned by the state, had nearly two dozen hospitals in New York City and about 400 COVID-19-positive patients as of Friday. This is an increase from 300 patients a few weeks back, but not enough to match the 1,350 at one time last January.

D’Angelo reported that around 25% of the population is now vaccinatedas in comparison to 10-15% in the previous month. This is due mainly to people with underlying health issues.

According to New York-Presbyterian the hospital has observed an “slow but steady” rise in COVID-19 admissions. However, all of its hospitals are operating as normal.

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