Over the past few weeks, New York officials have begun to emphasize a new metric in how to track COVID-19 cases in New York.
The change is due to the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services no longer requires reporting of rapid and antigen tests performed for COVID-19 screenings in schools, prisons, staff tests, long-term care facilities and in pharmacies, among other places like pop-up sites.
Instead of the total number of cases, New York and other states now use cases per. 100,000 inhabitants, and not the more traditional percentage of positive results for those who have been tested.
Hochul on Wednesday in Syracuse alluded to this and called the measurement of cases per. one hundred thousand a more reliable measurement of COVID-19 cases. The change also comes after New York largely shut down mass test sites and shifted its focus to home testing, which can be harder for health officials to track.
“When we set these up, there were no other options. There were no home test kits,” Hochul told reporters. “We wanted to go a whole day and only have one person show up. It was a lot of health resources dedicated to a situation that was not beneficial.”
Home testing has become more widespread this year at the same time as the federal government distributes kits to U.S. households as well as test kits at pharmacies.
“Circumstances have changed and I think it’s for the better,” Hochul said. “We encourage people to get tested regularly. If they get sniffles, it could be spring allergies and it could be COVID. So do not take the chance.”
New York has reported an increase in COVID-19 cases per capita. 100,000 inhabitants in the last many weeks, attributed to the circulation of the BA.2 subspecies of the virus. Overall, New York has seen its COVID-19 case rate grow from 29.99 per share. 100,000 people on Sundays at 31.67 per. 100,000 on Tuesdays.
At the same time, hospital admissions, which are considered a lame indicator, have also increased. There are now 1,404 people hospitalized in New York who are COVID-positive. Of these patients, 51.8% were admitted for reasons other than COVID, but they tested positive at admission.