Dr. Shereef Elnahal claimed 300 COVID-19 patients a day were filling the beds at University Hospital in New York, New Jersey, in the early days of the pandemic in spring 2020, and so many people were turning up in the emergency room that triage tents had to be set up in the parking lot.
In an interview with ABC News, Elnahal, the CEO of University Hospital and the former New Jersey Commissioner of Health, said it was “the biggest crisis that’s actually ever hit the hospital” and the Garden State’s largest metropolis.
However, this week saw the lowest number of coronavirus hospitalizations in both New Jersey and New York since the epidemic began over 18 months ago.
On Monday, the total number of COVID patients admitted to hospitals in New Jersey decreased to 293 people. A total of 330 COVID patients were hospitalized in New York the day before.
According to statistics from both states, during the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, 18,825 COVID patients were hospitalized across the state of New York, while 6,127 individuals were hospitalized with the virus in New Jersey.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 11,200 individuals are now hospitalized with the virus across the country, down 13% in the past week.
“It’s absolutely amazing news, and it’s been a long time coming,” Elnahal added.
He claims that University Hospital now has less than ten COVID patients in its care, and that “it’s been a long time since we’ve even had a COVID-19 death.”
According to state records, New Jersey had 300 to 400 COVID-19 fatalities each day during the height of the outbreak.
A second wave of the virus hit New Jersey and New York in December and January. On Jan. 19, 3,802 people were admitted to hospitals in New Jersey, while 9,273 people were admitted to hospitals in New York.
Elnahal said the first vaccination was given to an emergency room nurse at University Hospital in New Jersey on Dec. 15, 2020. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy praised the incident as “historic” at the time, since it occurred one day after the city of New York delivered its first vaccination shot to an intensive care nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.
“The vaccinations are the actual reason we can keep moving toward normalcy, and the most essential reason why we’re celebrating this,” Elnahal added, alluding to the declining number of hospitalizations.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 67 percent of adults in New Jersey have been completely vaccinated. According to the CDC, around 65 percent of individuals in New York are completely immunized.
According to the most recent CDC figures, roughly 154.2 million people have been completely vaccinated nationwide, or about 46.4 percent of the entire population.
In a statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “Our state has gone a long way in fighting back this illness, but our effort continues because we need to get every New Yorker vaccinated.” “Every injection in the arm takes us closer to finally conquering this beast, which is why we’re working with our local partners across the state to ensure that the vaccine is available in every community.”
The decline in coronavirus hospitalizations in New Jersey, according to Gov. Murphy, represents “another milestone” in the state’s fight against the virus.
Since the peak of coronavirus infections in January, the United States’ coronavirus statistics have been quickly dropping. The number of daily COVID cases has dropped by about 96 percent in the previous five months across the country.
COVID-19 infections are growing in some regions of the country, according to an ABC News analysis of state COVID dashboard data. This is especially true in places where vaccination rates are low. Coronavirus cases have increased in Alabama (57.7%), Arizona (16.7%), Missouri (41.4%), Nevada (43.3%), Utah (22.3%), and Virginia (20%) in the previous two weeks.
In addition, the city of Miami has witnessed a 60 percent spike in cases per capita week over week, with a 27 percent test positive rate in the previous week. Only 30% of adults in the city are completely vaccinated, far lower than the state average of 45.7 percent.
However, Murphy noted that the great majority of COVID patients admitted to hospitals in the state, as well as the 105 new COVID positive cases recorded on Monday, “are virtually entirely of unvaccinated citizens.”
COVID is now primarily a preventable condition, thanks to the vaccinations in our arsenal, Murphy stated at a news conference on Monday. “Nearly every number we count every day might have been avoided if someone had gotten vaccinated.”
Almost all of the patients now hospitalized at University Hospital, according to Elnahal, are unvaccinated.
“Not being vaccinated is one of the most hazardous things you can do with your health right now,” Elnahal added, citing the rise of the Delta strain, which is “100% more transmissible than the original virus.”