Cuomo: Most new virus patients in N.Y. are at home, not working
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that most new COVID-19 cases tracked by hospitals in the state over the past few days were among people who were predominantly at home and not working. They were also mostly among people 51 and older.
He said that even “with everything we’ve done” there were still 600 new coronavirus cases in New York yesterday, “either walking in the door to hospitals, or people who are in hospitals who are then diagnosed with COVID.”
“I’ve been focusing on this number of new cases,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. “That’s where our health professionals are focused. Why? Because with everything we’ve done — closed schools, closed businesses, everybody shelter at home, all the precautions about wear a mask, wear gloves, etc. — you still have 600 new cases that walked in the door yesterday. The week before that, we still saw 1,000 new cases every day. Where are those new cases still coming from?”
To try to figure that out, state officials asked hospitals to look at the new cases coming into their facilities over the last few days, he said. The data — collected from more than 1,000 people over three days — shows that 66% of new hospitalizations were among people coming from home. 18% were among people coming from nursing homes, and less than 1% came from a jail or prison, he said.
A total of 46% were unemployed and 37% were retired; 73% of people being hospitalized were 51 and order, according to Cuomo.
Most new hospitalizations have primarily been in downstate New York, which includes New York City, where minorities have been disproportionately affected, Cuomo said. The governor said 38% of new hospitalizations statewide were among white people, while 21% were among African Americans and 17% were among Hispanics or Latinos.
Data also showed:
- Only 4% of hospitalizations were among people regularly taking public transportation.
- More men than women — 52% vs. 48% — were being hospitalized.
“We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home,” he said.
“Much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself,” Cuomo said.
“Are you wearing a mask? Are you doing the hand sanitizer? If you have younger people who are visiting you and may be out there and may be less diligent with the social distancing – Are you staying away from older people?”
“It comes down to personal behavior,” he said.
Cuomo said, however, that the number of new hospitalizations is continuing to go down, although he reported an additional 232 deaths Tuesday.
He called that an “unimaginable and painful reality that we have to deal with.”
“When people talk about how good things are going, and the decline and the progress — that’s all true,” he said. “It’s also true that 232 people were lost yesterday, and that’s 232 families that are suffering today.”
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