NEW YORK – Only one of 62 New York counties remained at high risk for community spread of COVID in the CDC’s Friday update, a significant change from last month when all but eight Empire State counties deserved that designation.
The dubious distinction belongs to Nassau County, with neighboring Suffolk County, the only other New York county in the CDC’s high-risk level a week ago, moving from high to low risk in the agency’s latest update. of health.
Regionally, Long Island has the second-highest moving average of new cases (31.1 per 100,000) behind New York City (31.6), but Nassau County is dramatically increasing the rate with its second-highest moving average in the state of 35.5 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s only behind Manhattan (38.5) on that metric.
However, Nassau’s hospitalization numbers, its new admission rate per 100,000 (12.4), and the percentage of inpatient beds in use by COVID patients (5%) are notably higher than Manhattan’s (8.5 and 4). %, respectively) and are the most critical indicators from a public health perspective, hence the high level of alert.
Aside from the five boroughs and Tioga and Broome counties in the Southern Tier region of the state, the rest of New York has been downgraded to the CDC’s low-risk level.
The agency assesses risk based on the same three metrics that New York City does, though it took health officials in the five boroughs longer to lower the alert level to medium than it did for the CDC. That transition just arrived this week.
Why the discrepancy? There could be other reporting factors at play. The CDC assesses risk at the state or county level, for example, while the city bases its assessment on citywide statistics.
Differences in data flow and communication may also play a role.
Either way, experts seem to agree that all signs are clearly pointing in the right direction for New York City as it emerges from this latest pandemic threat.
The latest wave has been largely attributed to the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1, which is said to be at least 25% more transmissible than the previous strain, Omicron BA.2. BA.2 was thought to be at least 30% more contagious than the original Omicron variant, which, as the entire United States and the world saw last winter, was the most infectious strain of COVID to date at the time it was released. arose.
Hospitalizations increased, although to a lesser and more manageable degree than during previous waves associated with omicron and delta.
Similar patterns have played out across the state at other times in recent months, although the southern region of the state that includes New York City likely experienced that variant spreading before other states and major metropolitan areas, according to locations. from the US who are still struggling with a high rate of COVID. case and hospitalization rates.
Nationwide, 392, or 12.2% of counties in the United States, are considered high risk for community spread of COVID by the CDC. That represents an increase of about two percentage points over the past week, with the number of medium-risk counties up 1.58%.
Most American counties — 56.9% of them — are at low risk, according to the CDC, though that number has dropped since the agency’s last weekly update.
Four of New Jersey’s 21 counties are still considered high-risk by the CDC, though that number has dropped by eight since the update two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Connecticut is all green except for New Haven, Litchfield, and Middlesex counties.