Illustration: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The New York State Department of Health is reporting an increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions, although numbers are still low compared to the height of the pandemic.

The latest data, from today, shows a 22% increase in hospital admissions compared to last week with an average of more than 100 admissions per day. The number of reported cases is 55% higher than last week, though hospitalizations are a more reliable indicator, the DOH says, noting that there are currently no concerns with hospital bed capacity.

State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said in a statement that COVID is a treatable disease.

“COVID tests are easy to use as well as highly accurate," he says. "If you test positive, speak with a health care provider about treatment, which can prevent hospitalization and death.”

The DOH says people who think they are ill with COVID should get tested. Symptoms include:

-Fever or chills
-New loss of taste or smell
-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
-Muscle or body aches
-Sore throat
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea or vomiting

Local pharmacies carry at-home tests. If tests come back positive, the DOH says it's important to begin treatment as soon as possible after symptom onset. 

"COVID-19 medications are widely available by prescription through doctors, pharmacies, and health care clinics," the DOH says. Individuals who do not have regular health care providers can find treatment locations here.

The agency also says those who test positive should avoid contact with others, including staying home from work, school, and social activities.

Those in high-risk groups are advised to consider taking precautions.

The DOH recommends the following to prevent serious illness and spread of COVID-19:

-Get vaccinated and boosted when eligible. Learn more here.
-Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.
-Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
-Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
-Consider wearing a mask to reduce your chance of exposure.


Source link