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Co-op City, Edenwald lead NYC in COVID-19 hospitalizations as cases rise

by Jessica

The Bronx neighborhoods of Co-op City and Edenwald have recorded the highest hospitalization rates in New York City, based on data released on Thursday.

The term “Eris” Tour, sometimes joked about, doesn’t refer to Taylor Swift’s concerts. It’s a reference to a subvariant of Omicron, specifically EG.5, known as Eris, which is circulating in the US.

Weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions have been increasing across the country, totaling 10,320 visits in the week of August 5, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, this number remains lower than the peak seen in early January this year.

New York City has also experienced a rise in cases since mid-to-late July. This trend has reversed among the vaccinated but escalated significantly among the unvaccinated, according to data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene up to August 5.

Presently, the city health department records an average of 672 cases and one death daily over the past week. However, only PCR test results are included, and at-home tests are not accounted for.

The Co-op City and Edenwald areas, identified by the 10475 zip code, have registered the highest hospitalization rate in the city, at 25.7 per 100,000 people. This information, from July 7 to August 3, was recently released by the health department. Previously, the area was second-highest in hospitalizations, following Ocean Hill and Brownsville in Brooklyn between June 30 and July 27.

Although the following highest hotspots are in different boroughs, Mott Haven ranks sixth at 19.1 per 100,000, and Allerton/Norwood/Pelham Parkway/Williamsbridge stands seventh at 18.6.

Hospitalizations encompass individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 and those found to have the virus during their stay for other reasons.

According to Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the city health department, while there’s an uptick in COVID-19 transmission, there’s no evidence suggesting that the virus has become more transmissible or likely to cause severe illness.

Gallahue emphasized the importance of vaccination, staying home when sick, and wearing masks as safety measures for New Yorkers.

Although the rate of completed primary vaccinations in the Bronx is 77%, lower than the citywide rate of 81%, the rate of receiving the more recent bivalent dose is significantly lower, at 16% citywide and only 11% in the Bronx. Bivalent vaccines target both the original virus strain and the Omicron variant, and a bivalent dose is necessary to be considered fully vaccinated.

Officials anticipate a new COVID-19 vaccine to be available in the upcoming fall.

After the public health emergency ended in May, there’s less comprehensive data to analyze spikes. While the CDC continues to monitor hospitalizations, deaths, emergency department visits, and vaccinations, it no longer counts positive test results.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new CDC director, expects COVID-19 shots to be administered alongside flu shots at pharmacies and workplaces, unlike the dedicated locations set up early in the pandemic.

COVID-19 testing and vaccination are free in New York City. PCR tests are available at COVID Express sites citywide, offering results within 24 hours or less. Free at-home rapid tests are also accessible.

Vaccines are available for all individuals aged 6 months and older, irrespective of immigration status, and can be scheduled through the NYC vaccine finder. –The AP contributed to this report

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