Gov. Hochul: Hospitalizations Up ‘150% Upstate Vs. Downstate’

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ALBANY (WENY) – Governor Kathy Hochul discussed a targeted approach to manage increasing hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in New York State.

“Mark my words we’re going to see a surge in the next couple of days,” the Governor said.

The impacts of recent holiday gatherings are not yet included in immediate data. Governor Hochul reminded New Yorkers it takes about five days to reflect in the statistics.

“Okay you sat down with your family and you invited Uncle Harry who wasn’t vaccinated who sat right next to you at the Thanksgiving dinner you could be exposed and you could be vulnerable if you do not have the vaccination and hopefully the booster as well. So watch for symptoms closely, stay in touch with your family members — make sure you know what everybody’s up to because if there is going to be a surge in hospitalizations, which we’d be naive to think there won’t be, that would occur about 10 days from now,” Hochul said.

On Friday, the Governor issued an Executive Order, which would limit non-essential procedures for hospitals facing a certain capacity strain in beds and staffing.

“So hospitalizations are up — get this number — 150% upstate versus downstate. Not that I’m trying to create an upstate downstate divide in our state, I don’t believe in that, but just looking at the numbers, these are what the numbers we’re seeing and they’re very very troubling,” she continues.

Officials with the Wadsworth Lab say New York is taking extraordinary measures to monitor the newly emerged Omicron variant, which has not been confirmed yet to have arrived in the U.S.

“We also sent a notification to all of the laboratories performing PCR essays in NYs requesting that they immediately notify us of any detection of a positive sample that has specific test results characteristics of Omicron. We could then expedite sequencing to specifically identify whether or not it really was,” says Dr. Kirsten St. George, Director of Virology at Wadsworth Lab.

The Executive Order for hospitalization capacity goes into effect starting this Friday.


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