'Shocking' Two-Thirds of NY Hospitalized COVID Patients Had Stayed Home, Defying Social Distancing Logic


The results of a newly released medical survey indicate New York state’s COVID-19 outbreak may defy orthodox virological expectations.

Detailing the findings in a daily news briefing Thursday, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained that, while the survey had largely served to confirm previous suspicions regarding transmission of the virus, one “shocking” development had in fact been revealed.

According to the data, roughly 66 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients within the state were admitted from the safety of their own homes. (That statistic did not include the 16 percent of hospitalizations where patients were admitted from a nursing home.)

“This is a surprise,” Cuomo told reporters. “Overwhelmingly, the people were at home, where there’s been a lot of speculation about this. A lot of people, again, had opinions. A lot of people have been arguing where [the cases] come from and where we should be focusing.

“But 66 percent of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” Cuomo said.

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“Transportation method: We thought maybe they were taking public transportation and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation. But actually no, because these people were literally at home.

“Only 4 percent were taking public transportation, 2 percent were walking,” the governor later added.

“Eighty-four percent were at home. Literally. Were they working? No, they were retired or they were unemployed. Only 17 percent working. So that says they’re not working, they’re not traveling.”

The revelation may call into question the recent medical suggestion that strict social distancing protocols greatly decrease individual risk of viral transmission.

It was this logic which led the governors of more than 40 states to implement stay-at-home orders barring so-called “nonessential” public travel and interaction.

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According to the New York Post, however, the three-day survey of 1,269 patients at 113 hospitals, commissioned by New York state officials and completed this week, did not explicitly determine whether those admitted to the hospital from their homes had been properly following social distancing guidelines.

Cuomo indicated Thursday that the findings would not sway New York state public health policy going forward.

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Instead, the governor doubled down on strict social distancing guidelines, saying residents should continue to isolate from one another regardless of age or other demographic characteristics.

“It reinforces what we’ve been saying, which is much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself,” Cuomo said. “Everything is closed down, government has done everything it could, society has done everything it could.

“Now it’s up to you. Are you wearing the mask? Are you doing the hand sanitizer?” he said.

“If you have younger people who are visiting you and may be out there and may be less diligent with the social distancing, are you staying away from older people?”

“This is not a group that we can target with this information. It’s really about personal behavior.”

New York state, far and away the hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic, has recorded more than 327,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 26,000 deaths since the start of the outbreak, according to Johns Hopkins.

However, the state remained on a strong downward trend this week, not having registered more than 5,000 cases in a single day since April 26.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.