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COVID live updates: NY looking at COVID hospitalizations that began for other reasons


(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.4 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 826,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 62% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Latest headlines:
-New York looking into COVID-19 hospitalizations that began for other reasons
-Surgeon general warns next few weeks ‘will be tough’
-COVID positivity rate at US Capitol reaches 13%
-More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19
-FDA authorizes Pfizer’s booster shot for 12- to-15-year-olds

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.

Jan 03, 4:02 pm
New York looking into COVID-19 hospitalizations that began for other reasons

New York’s hospitals will be required to report a breakdown of how many COVID-19 patients were admitted due to the coronavirus and how many were admitted for other needs and only discovered they were infected during their stays.

During a COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul cited anecdotal reports of as many as 50% of patients at some hospitals testing positive for the virus who were actually admitted for other reasons, such as car accidents.

“I just want to always be honest with New Yorkers about how bad this is,” Hochul said. “Yes, the sheer number of people infected are high, but I want to see whether or not the hospitalizations correlate with that.”

She continued, “And I’m anticipating to see that at least a certain percentage overall are not being treated for COVID.”

Hospitals will begin reporting their breakdowns Tuesday, but it’s unclear how soon the data will be publicly available.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos and Will McDuffie

Jan 03, 3:11 pm
Surgeon general warns next few weeks ‘will be tough’

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations will continue to increase as the omicron variant rapidly spreads across the country.

“The next few weeks are going to be tough for us,” he told ABC’s “The View” on Monday. “We’re already seeing record levels of cases, and we’re seeing hospitalizations starting to tick up. We’re seeing some of our hospital systems getting strained at this point.”

Information from South Africa and the United Kingdom indicates omicron could be less severe than previous COVID-19 variants, Murthy said.

“We’re still going to see a lot of people get sick and a lot of hospitalizations, but the overall severity may end up being significantly lower,” he said.

Murthy said both South Africa and the U.K. “had a very rapid rise, but then they had a very steep fall” in cases

“I’m hoping that that’s what happens here too,” he added.

ABC News’ Joanne Rosa

Jan 03, 2:27 pm
Starbucks says workers must get COVID vaccine or be tested weekly

Starbucks is requiring its 220,000 workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine or be tested weekly, complying with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private businesses.

Employees must reveal their vaccination status by Jan. 10, according to a letter sent Monday by Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver, Reuters first reported.

“This is an important step we can take to help more partners get vaccinated, limit the spread of COVID-19, and create choices that partners can own based on what’s best for them,” Culver wrote.

Workers will have until Feb. 9 to be fully vaccinated.

Those who choose to undergo weekly testing instead will be responsible for obtaining their own tests — which cannot be self-administered or taken at home — and submitting results.

Jan 03, 1:43 pm
COVID positivity rate at US Capitol reaches 13%

The seven-day positivity rate at the U.S. Capitol COVID-19 testing center has increased from 1% to 13%, according to a letter sent from the Office of the Attending Physician to congressional offices on Monday.

Most cases have been breakthroughs among people who are fully vaccinated and have not “led to hospitalizations, serious complications, or deaths, attesting to the value of coronavirus vaccinations,” the letter reads.

The letter also states that about 61% of COVID-19 infections at the Capitol have been linked to the omicron variant, and 38% are linked to the delta variant.

The OAP advised congressional offices to telework as much as possible and that “blue surgical masks, cloth face masks and gaiter masks must be replaced by the more protective KN95 or N95 masks.”


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