About half of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New York City were originally admitted for other reasons, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Across the state, 42% of COVID-19 patients entered hospitals for reasons unrelated to the virus, such as a car accident, and only learned they were positive during their stays, Hochul said during a press conference Friday.
This is the first time that New York has differentiated between patients who go to hospitals to get care for COVID-19 and those who seek out care for other issues but test positive upon arrival.
Hochul also asked New Yorkers who have mild symptoms to not got to emergency rooms to get tested or treated because many hospitals are currently understaffed.
“If you’re an adult with very minor symptoms, you can handle a runny nose. You can handle the throats being a little sore, a little bit of a cough. Just treat as if you would the flu, all the protocols,” she said. “But please don’t overburden our emergency rooms.”
Hochul added that nearly 20% of all emergency rooms in the state are made up of people who are there only to get tested for COVID-19.
-ABC News’ Will McDuffie