New York sees a 30% increase in COVID deaths in December

COVID deaths in New York state rose 30% last month, to the highest count since early 2022, nearly three years after the virus first devastated the stateshows an analysis of Post.

There were 915 deaths related to the coronavirus and its variants at the Empire State in December, about 30 a day, compared with 664 deaths in November.

The monthly number of deaths has reached levels not seen since February 2022, The Post’s review of data from the state Department of Health found, and comes despite the wide vaccines available Y antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19.

Public health experts said the increased rate is proof COVID can still be considered a pandemic instead of a rearview mirror annoyance.

The virus has claimed more than 77,000 lives in New York since the start of 2020, data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control shows.

Nearly 1.1 million Americans have died from COVID-related illnesses, according to the CDC.
The elderly, particularly those with other diseases or who are not vaccinated, are at higher risk of hospitalization or death.

State data shows that 87% of those who have died from COVID are 60 or older, and most had heart or blood-related conditions.

COVID-19 deaths rose 30% in New York last month, according to a Post data analysis.
COVID-19 deaths rose 30% in New York last month, according to a Post data analysis.
Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

According to health advocates, public fatigue and resistance to insistent recommendations to take precautions, such as wearing a mask, have contributed to the latest increases in hospitalizations and deaths. mask commands in the city and state were discarded last year.

“People have let their guard down a bit, to be honest,” saying Dr Ayman El Mohandes, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health. “It seems that in the current situation we are seeing an increase in new variants and people are less attentive.”

El-Mohandes noted that colder weather and the influx of holiday season tourists likely had an impact, but argued that “the pandemic is not over” and that “people should not ignore the risk.”

The 915 deaths from COVID-19 are the most recorded in New York since February 2022.
The 915 deaths from COVID-19 are the most recorded in New York since February 2022.
Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Last spring, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a former chief medical adviser to President Biden, He said the United States was “out of the pandemic phase” – although COVID is still highly contagious and neither the World Health Organization nor the CDC have downgraded it from pandemic status.

In a statement to The Post, the state Department of Health said New Yorkers are facing a “triple-demic” of COVID-19, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

“COVID-19 continues to be a top concern for public health officials, claiming lives every day in New York State, across the country and around the world,” DOH spokesman Cort Ruddy said.

“High levels of influenza and RSV have also combined to create what is, essentially, a triple-demic this fall and winter. That’s why the Department continues to urge all New Yorkers to take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, including staying up-to-date on vaccinations, including the bivalent booster for COVID-19. These vaccines greatly reduce the chance of serious illness or death.”

COVID-19 has killed more than 77,000 people in New York since the beginning of 2020, according to the CDC.
COVID-19 has killed more than 77,000 people in New York since the beginning of 2020, according to the CDC.
Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

State data shows that 85% of residents age 18 and older have received their primary series of COVID vaccinesbut only about 15% are up to date with the latest booster series, which includes the Omicron bivalent reinforcement.

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID has also increased.

There were 2,846 hospitalized COVID patients as of November 1, with 307 in the intensive care unit. That number rose to 3,960 hospitalizations and 413 ICU patients as of Dec. 30, and 4,157 hospitalized as of Jan. 5, according to DOH data.

The death rate for the first week of January 2023 has mirrored December, with a combined 62 reported COVID-related deaths since last Wednesday and Thursday.

Governor Hochul said we are not out of the woods.

“I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use all available tools to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their communities safe and healthy,” he said Friday.

“Keep up with vaccine doses and get tested before meetings or travel. If you test positive, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.”

The Health Department reported that a new Omicron variant, XBB.1.5., is now the most dominant strain, accounting for more than 50% of COVID infections statewide. Officials said the new variant is more contagious because it mutates, allowing it to attach to cells and replicate.

“Since it emerged, the COVID-19 virus continues to change,” said Dr. James McDonald, acting state health commissioner. “The new bivalent booster has been updated to address these changes, which is why it is so important that all New Yorkers 6 months and older get the important protection it offers.”

He said that the bivalent booster provides significant protection against becoming seriously ill or being hospitalized, and that those with the vaccine are more than 18 times less likely to die from COVID compared to those who are not vaccinated.

The number of deaths from COVID per month in 2022 are: December 915; November 664; October 683; September 486; August 592; July 534; June 464; May 613; April 353; March 400; February 1652; January 4, 592.

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