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Coronavirus Hospitalizations in New York Reached Highest Point

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A new notice by city Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi (Photo by NYC Mayor’s office)

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NEW YORK, NY — Hospitalizations for coronavirus infections in New York City reached the highest point since June, said the city’s Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi.

Chokshi said Tuesday there are more than 1,100 COVID-19 patients in hospitals — double the number from just three weeks ago.

“Every one of those hospitalizations represents a person fighting to recover, a livelihood interrupted and a household distraught,” he said during a daily news conference.

Chokshi also announced he issued a health notice urging at-risk New Yorkers to stay inside, stop non-essential activities and avoid social contacts.

The notice applies to New Yorkers above 65 and with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID-19 infection.

Chokshi called the notice “just one step” — everyday New Yorkers need to carry the message forward to protect their at-risk family and community members, he said.

“While I’m discouraging non-essential activities, medical care is essential,” he said.

The hospitalization spike coincides with a citywide surge in coronavirus cases that prompted officials to temporarily close schools and prepare for wider shutdowns.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week released a spate of emergency plans focused on preparing hospitals for an expected surge in coronavirus cases.

Cuomo on Tuesday said there were 3,532 hospitalizations statewide. That’s roughly the same level as March 23 when Elmhurst Hospital in Queens was overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, he said.

The situation now is different than March, Cuomo said. The virus’s rate of increase is much lower than in March and hospitals are now sharing patients between different systems so no one hospital is overwhelmed, he said.

“The 3,500 numbers last time was predominantly in New York City, the 3,500 this time is all across the state,” he said. “That’s good and that’s bad. That means it’s not just downstate hospitals handling the load, it’s statewide, but it also means we don’t have the same ability to move resources around the state the way we did.”

Mitchell Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, on Tuesday said ICUs in city-run hospitals are about two-thirds full. He said hospital officials are shoring up medical equipment and personal protective equipment.

“We are well-prepared,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed Chokshi’s warnings and said the public health notice makes the city’s standards clear as the coronavirus makes a resurgence.

He gave an update on the city’s daily coronavirus indicators, with the caveat the numbers could be skewed by low testing amid the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

There were 132 new hospitalizations and 1,685 new cases, de Blasio said.

The city’s daily coronavirus positivity average is 5.72 percent and 4.14 percent over a seven-day average, he said.

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