COVID hospitalizations in New York state are approaching 3,000, more than double what they were a month ago.
The increase in hospitalizations comes as a highly-contagious omicron subvariant continues to spread across the country.
According to Gov. Kathy Hochul's latest report, there were 2,705 COVID patients in state hospitals — the highest number since February 18, when the total was 2,745.
The governor's office added, however, that in 52.5 percent of those cases, COVID was not listed as the primary reason for the patient's admission to the hospital.
Despite the increase, the current hospitalization count is less than five times what it was during the omicron variant's peak in January and only a fraction of New York's pandemic high of 19,000 hospital admissions.
Public health officials maintain that they are keeping close track of all available COVID-related metrics and there is no cause for alarm or more economic restrictions. They are, however, urging New Yorkers to wear masks when in public places indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.
Gov. Hochul also pointed out that case rates are falling in three regions of the state — Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley — that were hard hit by omicron early. She said it is reason for optimism that the current COVID wave will wane as others have before it.