Governor asks New York hospitals for greater detail in COVID-19 inpatient reports

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is asking hospitals to adjust their reporting on COVID-19 hospitalizations to distinguish patients admitted for the virus as their primary condition from those who are hospitalized for other reasons and test positive for COVID-19 during their stay. 

During a Jan. 3 press conference, Ms. Hochul said the changes to reporting begin January 4.

"I have always wondered: When we're looking at the hospitalizations of people testing positive in a hospital, is that person in the hospital because of COVID, or did they show up there and are routinely tested and showing positive, and they may have been asymptomatic or even just had the sniffles?" the governor said. 

Ms. Hochul noted that conversations with hospital leaders across the state have led her to believe inpatients with COVID-19 as a secondary or later diagnosis could account for 20 to 50 percent of the state's reported COVID-19 hospitalizations. "But we don't have clear data right now; that's anecdotal," she said. 

The state reported 9,563 COVID-19 hospitalizations Jan. 3, a 137.9 percent increase from Dec. 20. Of those Jan. 3 hospitalizations, 12.3 percent are in intensive care units. The governor's office reported the omicron variant made up 90 percent of SARS-CoV-2 sequences from New York between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2 that were uploaded to the GISAID database.

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