NYC Seeing Few Hospitalizations Despite Delta Wave

Vaccination center at NYCHA Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Even as coronavirus cases surge in New York City, fueled by the highly infectious coronavirus variant, hospitalizations have not climbed dramatically, The City reported.

Compared to the Fall 2020 wave, the number of coronavirus patients admitted to the hospital remain low, with the majority of city residents vaccinated. While the five boroughs have seen a 238% rise in infections since July 1, the rise in hospitalizations was only 25%. In the second wave, in November 2020, new cases rose by 180% and hospitalizations rose 129%.

City health department statistics show that the 7-day average of hospitalizations was 29, while the 7-day average for confirmed and probable new cases was 976. There were only 2 deaths.

“Despite the widespread existence of Delta, I don’t think we’re going to see the kind of hospitalization rates that we’ve had before,” said Dr. Jessica Justman, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

“I do think that the vaccines are going to keep a lot of people protected from severe illness, hospitalizations and death,” Justman continued. “If we didn’t have a vaccine, we would be seeing a much bigger increase in hospitalizations.”

Just under 60% of all New Yorkers ages 12 and up have at least one shot, and 54.5% are fully vaccinated. The majority of those infected and those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated vaccinations or weekly COVID testing for city health care workers by Labor Day, and is urging private companies to require vaccines for their employees.

We have reached the limits of a purely voluntary system,” he said during a radio interview. “It’s time for more mandates.”


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