Data: NY COVID-19 hospitalizations up more than 50% in five-day span

Kimberly Robinson helps hand out COVID-19 testing kits at a drive-up...

Kimberly Robinson helps hand out COVID-19 testing kits at a drive-up distribution event at Mitchel Field in Uniondale on Thursday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 have increased more than 50% statewide in just five days, to 7,373 on Wednesday, from 4,891 on Dec. 24. Last year during the same time period, hospitalizations increased less than 14%.

"People are desperate and we’re seeing it now and we’re working as efficiently as possible to get tests to them," outgoing Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said after a news conference at Mitchel Field in Uniondale, where cars lined up for hours this morning to receive at-home rapid tests. "There’s such scarcity and it is like a bread line. As many as the state can give us, we will take them."

Meanwhile, many hospital employees are out sick: Stony Brook Medicine reported 482 positive COVID-19 tests among its employees between Dec. 16 and Dec. 29, Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital in Oceanside says more than 100 employees are out sick, and other medical systems and nursing homes also are reporting big increases in sick employees.

Hospital officials said they’re able to handle the surge, even with more employees calling in sick, but they’re preparing for the worst. Read more in this story by Newsday's David Olson and John Asbury.

Plus, schools are preparing for students to return: Some school district leaders across Long Island informed parents they would not be sending COVID-19 rapid tests home with kids after they return from holiday break, noting distribution plans are still in the works, reports Newsday's Joie Tyrrell and Dandan Zou. Long Island is expected to get about 420,000 tests for schoolchildren.

Earlier this week, the CDC updated its guidance for people who test positive, cutting isolation recommendations and shortening the time close contacts need to quarantine. Read our FAQ on the latest recommendations.

And if you're seeking COVID-19 testing and wondering what your options are for finding one on Long Island, here's a roundup of some resources to try to make an appointment or get a test.

The number of new positives reported today: 6,861 in Nassau, 5,772 in Suffolk, 43,985 in New York City and 74,207 statewide.

This map shows the concentration of cases in communities around Long Island in recent days.

A map showing the concentration of new cases in communities across...

A map showing the concentration of new cases in communities across Long Island, with Nassau data as of Tuesday and Suffolk data as of Monday.

Search that map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

See more coronavirus headlines below.


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