New York could be “cresting over the peak” of the COVID-19 omicron surge, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday, while reporting a slight dip in new cases from a day earlier.
“Cases are slowing down. The rate of increase is slowing down, but they’re still high,” she said during a virtual press briefing Tuesday. “We are not at the end, but I want to say that this to me, is a glimmer of hope. A glimmer of hope and at a time when we desperately need that.”
The state recorded 48,686 positive cases on Monday, accounting for 18.6% of all tests administered at public and private testing sites, Hochul said. The cases do not include home tests.
A day earlier, the state reported 54,749 positive tests with a 19.4% positivity rate.
More than 12,540 New Yorkers were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, compared to 12,022 a day earlier, Hochul said. The state recorded 160 deaths of COVID-19 patients.
Hospitalizations are expected to continue rising, since those numbers often lag behind surges in case counts, officials said, but the overall rate of increasing cases is slowing.
“To us, that is very encouraging,” Hochul said.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations can be deceiving, however, because they include people who were admitted to the hospital for something else but tested positive after or when they were admitted. That was the case with 42% of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide on Monday, Hochul said.
In New York City, which officials said is about two weeks ahead in its omicron wave compared to other areas in the state, 49% of people who tested positive in the hospital were there for something else. The numbers stand at 26% in Central New York and 24% in the Capital region.
Hochul on Monday also reiterated concerns about child hospitalizations and said the state would roll out a new vaccination campaign that includes a commercial featuring Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett talking about the importance of getting kids vaccinated.
More than 90% of 5 to 11-year-olds hospitalized with COVID-19 have not been immunized, Hochul said.