‘Red zone’ COVID-19 cases cause spike in hospitalizations across New York

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

More than 900 New Yorkers were hospitalized on Monday while battling COVID-19 symptoms — the highest statewide number in months — largely due to the growth of virus cases in the “red zones” where clusters have been found.

Governor Andrew Cuomo reported Tuesday that the state’s red zones — several of which are in Brooklyn and Queens — accounted for 12.3 percent of all positive COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New York on Monday. The clusters of COVID-19 across New York also drove up the hospitalization rate; more than 70 percent of the 923 people hospitalized for the virus hail from the red zones.

Subtracting red zones from the mix, the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate on Monday was just 1.2 percent, with 1,222 positive cases out of 94,932 test results reported.

“Our numbers overall continue to remain steady, despite the micro-clusters that have popped up in certain pockets of the state. Our strategy is to continue to identify these clusters if and when they pop up, get even more refined in our targeting and attack them as needed,” Cuomo said. “As we go into the fall, and the numbers nationwide are going up, we must work to keep our numbers down – and that’s going to take every New Yorker wearing their masks, socially distancing and being New York Tough to maintain our progress.”

On Monday, 118 people were admitted to a New York state hospital for COVID-19. Cuomo’s office pointed out that 49 of those new admissions (41.5 percent) came from a cluster area in either Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland, Orange or Broome counties.

Of the 923 hospitalized patients, 181 of them were admitted to intensive care, and 90 of them were on intubation. There were 11 deaths — including three in Brooklyn, three in the Bronx and one in Queens.

According to Cuomo’s office, the Brooklyn red zone saw some improvement in its weekly positivity rate. Between Oct. 4 and 10, the positivity rate was 5.86 percent, which is down from the 6.69 percent recorded between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3. Even so, the daily positivity rate grew from 4.54 percent on Sunday to 5.94 percent on Monday.

The Queens clusters — which are located in two areas of central Queens and Far Rockaway — saw its weekly positivity rate increase from 2.97 percent between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3 to 3.36 percent between Oct. 4 to 10. Additionally, the daily positivity rate jumped from 1.63 percent Sunday to 2.43 percent Monday.

This story originally appeared on amny.com

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