Data released by New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) on Friday has shown that nearly half of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are among those who were admitted for reasons other than the virus.

Fox News reported that the data included a chart showing “how many hospitalized individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 were admitted for COVID-19/COVID-19 complications and how many were admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions.” It showed that in approximately 43% of hospital admissions, “COVID was not included as one of the reasons for admission.”

As of January 7, these cases totaled 4,928 compared to 6,620 patients “admitted due to COVID or complications of COVID.”

The same data set showed that a staggering 51% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City were not due to COVID-19 or related symptoms. This number showed that 3,060 patients were hospitalized for reasons other than COVID-19, while only 2,992 were admitted due to the illness.

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“My administration is hard at work making testing, vaccines, boosters, and masks more widely available in to fight this winter surge,” Hochul said. “While we are prepared to deal with whatever comes our way using the tools we know are effective, it will take a concerted effort on the part of every New Yorker to beat this pandemic and protect our loved ones.”

“As you would expect because there’s so much community transmission, we’ve had people [in] car accidents COVID positive, coming to deliver a baby, COVID positive,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, the CEO of the city’s public hospital system, according to Gothamist. “Absolutely, there are people as part of those hospital statistics who are COVID cases.”

“Someone has underlying lung disease, and they have heart disease, and their baseline is a little short of breath, and then they come in [with] worsening shortness of breath, and they’re COVID positive, so COVID is probably a contributor,” he added. “There’s also a large group in the middle.”

Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi made similar comments, saying, “Sometimes there is a gray area. For example, I helped take care of a patient the other day who has emphysema, and they were found to be infected with COVID-19 and required hospitalization. In that case, perhaps, the emphysema would have required hospitalization even without the infection, but COVID-19 could also have tipped them over to where they need a higher level of care.”

Dr. Adel Bassily-Marcus, an ICU specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, told CNBC that his unit is operating “close to normal” even as the number of patients testing positive increases.

“We have an increasing number of ICU patients, but nowhere near what we saw in the first wave,” he said. “It has increased to a lesser extent than the total number of hospitalizations.”

This piece was written by James Samson on January 8, 2022. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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