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Shocking: 66% of new coronavirus patients in N.Y. stayed home: Cuomo

ALBANY — The majority of recently hospitalized coronavirus patients in New York are people who have followed the precaution of staying home, Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday.

The governor said it was “shocking" that 66% of new coronavirus hospitalizations are people who are either retired or unemployed and not commuting to work on a regular basis.

The statistic comes from a preliminary survey of 113 hospitals, done over three days, that included 1,269 responses as the state seeks more information about how COVID-19 spreads.

According to the data, 18% of new cases came from nursing homes, 4% from assisted-living facilities, 2% from congregate-care facilities, 2% were homeless, less than 1% from prisons and 8% were marked as “other."

“This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” Cuomo said during a briefing on Long Island. “We

thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

A total of 46% of new cases were unemployed and 37% were retired. Age also played a factor, the data shows that 73% of people being hospitalized were 51 and older, the survey found.

Most of the hospitalizations have been concentrated in the city and surrounding suburbs, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, Cuomo added.

There were 232 COVID-19 deaths and about 600 new coronavirus patients admitted into New York hospitals a day earlier, the governor said, indicating that the state’s hospitalization rate is trending downward.

The data is important as the state looks toward reopening parts of the economy as the end of Cuomo’s strict stay-at-home order approaches and other states begin lifting restrictions. The state is working with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a tech-heavy approach to tracing cases and tracking the virus.

While New York may have the virus “on retreat,” Cuomo again warned against acting too fast.

“It reinforces what we’ve been saying, which is: Much of this comes down to what you can do to protect yourself,” he said. “Everything is closed down, government has done everything it could, society has done everything it could, now it’s up to you.”

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