Huntington, NY

Number of Covid-19 Patients at Huntington Hospital On the Rise

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The number of Covid-19 patients at Huntington Hospital has doubled in recent days, Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director, said Monday, increasing from 5 to 10.

He said that nine of the 10 current Covid-19 patients were not vaccinated against the disease.

“There’s a growing voice that says, ‘If I can get it, why get the vaccine?’,” Fitterman said. “The answer is that if you get Covid and you’re vaccinated, it still protects you from the most severe form of the disease. You’re unlikely to arrive in the hospital and you won’t arrive in the morgue.”

Across the Northwell system, he said, the number of Covid patients had tripled in two weeks.

Fitterman cited the spread of the Delta variant of the virus, which has swept across the country, for the increase in infections, especially among the unvaccinated.

“The Delta variant is a worry,” he said, “much more contagious. Over 90 percent of admissions from Covid could be prevented. And more than 97 percent of deaths are of the non-vaccinated.”

“We have not reached herd immunity,” Fitterman said, which he says experts believe would be well above 70 percent. “we need to protect  immune compromised.”

And, he said, “We are still battling the misinformation pandemic, which is doing great harm.”

Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health system and private employer, said that it had treated more COVID-19 patients than any other. Earlier Tuesday, Northwell announced that all employees would have to be vaccinated by Aug. 16 or undergo weekly Covid-19 screenings. “Those who fail to get tested in a timely manner will face adverse action that could progress up to and include termination.” It said no exemptions would be permitted from the testing.

Also Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that MTA and Port Authority employees working in New York facilities will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested weekly starting Labor Day. Employee-only vaccination sites that previously closed as usage dropped will be reopened while those that remained open will continue to operate. Nine new vaccination sites will open in locations with a high concentration of state employees to make getting vaccinated as convenient as possible for those who haven't been yet.

Last week, Cuomo announced that state employees and patient-facing employees in state-run hospitals will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day. Those who choose to remain unvaccinated will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing.

The governor also said Monday that he was encouraging private businesses such as stadiums and restaurants to require proof of vaccination.

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