Cuomo confirms survey, says majority of new COVID-19 cases come from people staying home
05/11/2020 // Michael Alexander // Views

As it turns out, the majority of New York state’s new COVID-19 hospitalizations are from people who were staying home, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

The preliminary data, he added, was from a survey that focused on 113 New York hospitals and involved 1,200 patients.

The data shows that 66 percent of new hospital admissions were from people who had largely been sheltering at home. The next highest source of admissions, with a rate of 18 percent, was the state’s nursing homes.

“If you notice, 18 percent of the people came from nursing homes, less than 1 percent came from jail or prison, 2 percent came from the homeless population, 2 percent from other congregate facilities, but 66 percent of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” said Cuomo in his daily media briefing.

The governor said that the data was surprising, especially since the state officials expected that most patients would be health care workers or those who used public transportation.

“This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” Cuomo said during the briefing. “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.”

The survey also found that COVID-19 -- the disease caused by the coronavirus -- disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanics living within New York City. Data gleaned from the survey revealed that 25 percent of new cases involved African-Americans, while 20 percent came from Hispanic and Latin communities.


In addition, patients were more likely to be over 51 years old. They were also noted to have comorbidities before catching the coronavirus.

The data concerning the age and racial background of the state’s cases appeared to mirror a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of hospitalized patients released April 8, 2020, which showed that older people and African Americans were more likely to contract COVID-19.

During the briefing, he said the survey was conducted because while new COVID-19 hospitalizations are down in New York, they are declining at a much slower rate than he would have liked.

According to Cuomo, the results of the survey reaffirms prior precautions such as mask-wearing and handwashing to protect more vulnerable people. He also notes that the new cases were a result of the patients’ personal behavior before becoming infected. (Related: Fifteen children hospitalized in New York City with mysterious syndrome possibly linked to coronavirus.)

“Much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself. Everything is closed down, the government has done everything it could, society has done everything it could. Now it’s up to you,” Cuomo said.

However, the results have since spurred people to question whether or not the state’s imposed lockdowns -- which are set to stay in place until May 15 -- were indeed effective. In particular, these appear to clash with the Democrat governor’s prior assurances that isolation can reliably prevent the coronavirus transmission.

Will New York’s lockdown be lifted?

According to Cuomo, New York’s total shutdown will only be lifted once all of its regions meet seven strict requirements: A 14-day decline in both hospitalizations and virus-related hospital deaths; a steady rate of new hospitalizations below 2 per 100,000 residents a day; a hospital-bed vacancy rate of at least 30 percent; an availability rate for intensive care unit beds of at least 30 percent; at least 30 virus tests per 1,000 residents conducted per month; and at least 30 working contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

So far, New York has only met three of the seven requirements.

Should the lockdown be lifted, Cuomo said, resumption of businesses will be done in phases to prevent massive surges in new cases.

As per Cuomo’s directives, the reopening will begin with manufacturing and construction workers before moving on to professional, retail and real estate services. Restaurants and other food establishments meanwhile, will be reopened in the third phase, while facilities and businesses catering to arts and entertainment will reopen last.

As of press time, New York state has logged more than 321,000 positive COVID-19 infections, and a total death toll of 19,877.

Sources include:

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