People queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a popup testing site as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021.
A new report from the city Health Department shows that the Omicron variant dominated the cases of COVID-19 in New York City.
The report aimed to track the preliminary findings of the Omicron wave throughout the city. According to their findings, as of the week ending on Dec. 25, 2021, the Omicron variant accounted for nearly all COVID samples sequenced in the city.
The Health Department stated that the Omicron variant spread more quickly in the city compared to other variants. According to the report, the Omicron variant became the dominant strain of COVID-19 in five weeks — by comparison, the Delta variant took 20 weeks to become the dominant variant during its wave in NYC.
The report also found that only 2% of hospitalization cases for COVID-19 were connected to the Omicron variant, compared to 5% of cases being the Delta variant. Those most likely to be hospitalized in New York City are people who are not vaccinated, and a higher proportion of Black New Yorkers and people age 75 and older were hospitalized compared to the rest of the population. It was stated in the report that the differences in health outcomes among racial and ethnic groups in New York City are due to long-term structural racism, not biological or personal traits.
The Health Department noted that early on during the Omicron wave of COVID-19, New Yorkers who were not vaccinated were more than eight times more likely to be hospitalized compared to those who were fully vaccinated.
According to the report, the total pediatric hospital census was stable, if not slightly lower, during the Omicron wave of COVID-19. However, the number of pediatric hospitalizations due to or with COVID-19 saw a significant increase. Children who weren’t vaccinated had a significantly higher chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19, the report noted.
to read the full report.