“Almost all” COVID-19 patients in New York City over the Christmas period were infected with the Omicron variant, the city’s Department of Health said.
An analysis of city data for the week ending Dec. 25 found that the highly transmissible variant was present in 90 percent of samples collected in the five boroughs, officials said Thursday.
Omicron spread about four times faster than the Delta variant and was the dominant species in the city just five weeks after it was discovered, the health department found.
There was encouraging news about strain severity: Omicron patients were less than half as likely to be hospitalized than Delta patients, and according to the report, fully vaccinated patients were eight times less likely to be hospitalized with the latest variant.
But there were a higher number of Omicron patients in the hospital during the holidays as the number of patients in the city skyrocketed. all time highsthe department noted.
The unvaccinated, over-75s and black New Yorkers would most likely be hospitalized with Omicron, officials said — as they explained that “long-term structural racism” was the root of the racial inequality.
Children who had not received a COVID-19 shot were also “significantly” more likely to require medical attention than their vaccinated peers, the report said.
According to the most recent data, there were 626 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day and 75 deaths in the city.