Huge percentage of COVID hospitalizations in New York apparently not due to COVID

Breakdown in data has been source of controversy for two years.

Updated: January 8, 2022 - 10:16am

Data from the state of New York appears to indicate that a huge percentage of “hospitalizations” for COVID-19 there are not actually due to COVID-19 itself.

In a data dump from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, the governor shared numbers of “how many hospitalized individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 were admitted for COVID-19/COVID-19 complications and how many were admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions.”

Statewide, the number of patients who have tested positive for COVID but where the disease “was not included as one of the reasons for admission” is 43 percent. 

The distinction between patients hospitalized “due to” COVID and those merely hospitalized “with it” continues to be a source of controversy and vexation for public officials, data analysts and commentators. 

Journalists and some experts have been warning for much of the pandemic that the true hospital burden of COVID-19 is being distorted by the failure to distinguish between those two categories. 

U.S. public officials appear to be coming around to the distinction. Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, for instance, several days ago acknowledged that a high proportion of pediatric COVID hospitalizations actually involve children “hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID.”