The way hospitals report data to New York State is changing in the face of the Omicron variant. Governor Kathy Hochul delivered her daily remarks on Monday, with a message to New Yorkers. “We’re not in a good place, I’m going to be really honest with you,” she said. “This is the winter surge we predicted.”
In the Finger Lakes region ICU bed capacity is dwindling, but calls for economic restrictions by some are being overshadowed by the majority who want to see life move forward.
Now, a change in how COVID statistics are reported. Hospitals will be requested to report whether a patient is in the hospital for COVID-19 or if they tested positive for COVID-19 while being treated for another ailment.
It’s a distinction that many have called for over the last 2-3 months as cases have surged.
“Someone is in a car accident they go to the emergency room they test positive for COVID while they’re there, they’re not they’re being treated for COVID… Now someone’s condition can worsen while they’re in the hospital, I’m not saying that won’t happen but I’ve just been doing a random call around to some of the hospital leaders that I touch base with and I’m seeing numbers from 20% to sometimes 50%,” Hochul said during her briefing. “We don’t have clear data right now, that’s anecdotal.”
She wants to know the detailed breakdown.
“We’re going to be asking all hospitals to break out for us, how many people are being hospitalized because of COVID symptoms, how many people happen to test positive just while they’re in there for other treatments. I think that’s important,” she said. “I just want to be honest with New Yorkers about how bad this is. Yes, the number of people infected is high but I want to see whether or not the hospitalizations correlate with that.”
Local hospitals have said the data is available in various systems, so implementation shouldn’t be an issue.
Hochul reminded New Yorkers, though, that at the end of the day – capacity is capacity. “Hospital capacity is still hospital capacity you either have beds for sick people or you don’t and if you have a heart condition you don’t want to be turned away because the beds were filled with either other people who had conditions like that or with COVID so, we’re watching that very closely,” she added.
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