Public health officials of Massachusetts said that starting from Jan. 10, hospitals in Massachusetts will be reporting whether admissions are “primary or incidental to COVID-19,” reported Boston Globe. The state’s daily update for “patients hospitalized for COVID-19” currently counts both types of admissions.
The change means that the figure will show how many patients were hospitalized because of the severity of their COVID-19 symptoms, and how many patients ended up in hospitals for some other reasons but tested positive for the virus.
As of Jan. 6, the number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 2,367, the most since Jan. 5, 2021, according to the state health department. Of those patients, 1,106 were reported to be fully vaccinated when they contracted the virus.
Massachusetts officials had previously indicated that a large portion of COVID-19 patients in the state might have been hospitalized for something else. In October 2020, Gov. Charlie Baker said that a “a significant number” of patients admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 were not there for COVID-19 treatment.
A similar change in the COVID-19 hospitalization reporting will also take place in the neighboring state of New York. On Jan. 7, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she was ordering hospitals to start differentiating COVID-19 patients hospitalized for non-COVID reasons.
“Think of all the other reasons people end up in a hospital,” Hochul said at a press conference. “You know, it’s an overdose, it’s a car accident, it’s a heart attack. So, I wanted to drill down into those numbers.”
According to new data released by her state, a little less than half of New York City patients were actually hospitalized because of COVID-19, while roughly one in five COVID-19 patients in Central New York hospitals had been admitted for other reasons.
“Let’s look at upstate, Central New York places like that where 79 percent are admitted due to real COVID. And if they’re sick enough from COVID that they have to be hospitalized versus a 21 percent who happened to be there for another reason and test positive,” the governor said.
“So that’s a very interesting snapshot of what’s going on across the state and even Central New York. But what a variation we’re seeing there between Central New York and the city,” she added.