Study: New COVID-19 Hospitalizations are Older Residents Staying at Home

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A study at more than 100 hospitals in New York State found that two-thirds of new COVID-19 patients hospitalized were over 50 years old and had been spending most of their time at home.

The recent three-day study tracked 1,269 patients after the state sought to learn last week why new daily virus-related hospitalizations were totaling nearly 1,000. Since then, COVID-19 hospitalizations having fallen each day. On Tuesday, there were 601 new hospitalizations from the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo said that 67 percent of the patients surveyed were more than 50 years old, with the highest percentage – 20 percent – of those hospitalized from 61 to 70 years old. Those from 71 to 80 accounted for 19 percent of the hospitalizations while those in the 51 to 60 and 81 to 90 age groups each comprised 14 percent of those hospitalized. Six percent were over 90 years old.

Perhaps most surprising, Cuomo said, was that 66 percent in the group were living at home. Another 22 percent came from nursing homes and assisted living facilities with minor percentages from other categories. Of those tracked, 83 percent were either retired or have been unemployed.

Cuomo said the results show that the older population is the most vulnerable but that personal behavior and those of others, such as wearing face coverings, washing hands and younger family members keeping their distance is crucial. Many people who have been infected are asymptomatic, spreading the disease to more vulnerable populations.

“It reinforces what we’ve been saying, which is much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself,” Cuomo said.

The study also revealed that 57 percent of those hospitalized live in New York City, 18 percent on Long Island, 11 percent in Westchester and Rockland counties and 14 percent throughout the rest of the state.

It also highlighted how minorities are shouldering a disproportionate share of the cases. While 38 percent of those are white, 21 percent are black and 17 percent are Latino, even though the latter groups comprise a much smaller share of the state’s population.

Despite the high concentration of the cases continuing downstate, Cuomo said the virus is spread through density. He cited a recent outbreak in upstate Madison and Oneida counties where more than 100 vegetable processing plant workers have recently tested positive.

“It is about worker density and large gatherings,” Cuomo said. “That’s the caution flag here, that’s the message.”

On Tuesday, there were another 230 deaths in New York State, the third consecutive day there have been between 226 and 232 COVID-19-related fatalities.

‘Reimagining’ NY Continues

A day after Cuomo revealed that the state would partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to try and improve the education system, the governor made two additional high-profile announcements.

He tabbed Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling to upgrade portions of the state’s healthcare system and former Google chief Eric Schmidt to help improve technology opportunities, particularly telehealth, remote learning and broadband.

“We need the best minds available to take this moment and work together with the best thinking that we can find to make the best improvements,” Cuomo said.

Presidential Primary Back On – For Now

On Tuesday, a judge ruled in favor of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who sued the state to have its presidential primary held. The state Board of Elections canceled the June 23 primary last month after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.

The state is encouraging as many people as possible to vote by absentee ballot for the primaries, which also include congressional and state legislature races, and in Westchester, the Democratic primary for district attorney.

Cuomo signed an executive order nearly two weeks ago that will automatically mail an application for an absentee ballot to all qualified voters for the primaries.

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