New York hospitalizations for COVID-19 are increasing fastest among children and teens — with about 70 percent of those admitted for symptoms of the disease, the head of the state Health Department said Friday.

Official statistics show that the weekly number of kids hospitalized with the coronavirus during December surged from 85 to 571, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said.

That’s an eight-fold increase for children under age 5, who still can’t yet get vaccinated, and 10-fold jump for those over age 12, Bassett said.

“It’s the rate of the increase more than the numbers that make us very concerned,” Bassett said during a news conference with Gov. Kathy Hochul in Manhattan.

Bassett said the “vast majority” of the state’s pediatric patients are unvaccinated.

Gov. Kathy Hochul asked New Yorkers not go to hospital emergency rooms to be tested for COVID-19.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

Also during Friday’s news conference, Hochul said:

  • About 39 percent of recent statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations involved patients who tested positive after being admitted for “non-COVID reasons,” with the ratio in New York City “about 50-50.”
  • The state recorded about 82,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, resulting in a “better trend line than we had been seeing up until now” and leaving officials “hoping for a plateau.”
  • All healthcare workers will soon be required to get booster shots in addition to their state-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, which Hochul said would make New York the first state to adopt that directive.
  • New Yorkers are stressing hospital resources by going to emergency rooms to be tested for the coronavirus, including “nearly 5,000 people in the past 24 hours.”
A patient is brought to a hospital emergency entrance, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 5, 2022.
New York recorded about 82,000 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 6, 2022.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

“Please do not do that to our healthcare system,” Hochul said.

The state has ordered an additional 12 million test kits, bringing the total to 49 million, and will be “deploying more kits to hospitals” so they can be handed out in parking lots, Hochul said.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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