Mayor Adams announces funding for NYC hospitals to battle COVID surge

Mayor Eric Adams attempted to reassure New Yorkers Wednesday that the state is going to get through the current COVID crisis even as case numbers continue to set new records, unveiling a new plan to provide millions of dollars to the city's healthcare facilities.

To handle the surge of patients, as well as the number of staff out sick, the Mayor says he is directing over $100M into city-run hospitals to hire staff. 

"We're going to surge funds to every part of our healthcare network. We're going to provide a financial backstop for hospitals, healthcare staff, essentially workers, the entire team that keeps up healthy," Adams said. 

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Around $27M in loans is being offered to nonprofit hospitals in the city that serve primarily low-income patients.

About 85,000 Americans are in the hospital with COVID-19, just short of the delta-surge peak of about 94,000 in early September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The all-time high during the pandemic was about 125,000 in January of last year.

But the hospitalization numbers do not tell the whole story. Some cases in the official count involve COVID-19 infections that weren't what put the patients in the hospital in the first place.

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Dr. Fritz François, chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone Health in New York City, said about 65% of patients admitted to that system with COVID-19 recently were primarily hospitalized for something else and were incidentally found to have the virus.

As of Monday, New York state had just over 10,000 people in the hospital with COVID-19, including 5,500 in New York City. That’s the most in either the city or state since the disastrous spring of 2020.

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New York City hospital officials, though, reported that things haven’t become dire. Generally, the patients aren’t as sick as they were back then. Of the patients hospitalized in New York City, around 600 were in ICU beds.

"We’re not even halfway to what we were in April 2020," said Dr. David Battinelli, the physician-in-chief for Northwell Health, New York state’s largest hospital system.

With the Associated Press.