"They are testing positive in the community, but less of them are ending up in the hospital,” explained Dr. Theodore Maniatis, the medical director at SIUH.
Every day for the last four weeks, SIUH has admitted about 50 COVID patients.
And while that number has nearly doubled from eight weeks ago, Dr. Maniatis credits some good news to the vaccines.
"Positivity rates, for instance, have tripled in the last three of four weeks on Staten Island. We see more admissions, but we don’t see three times as many admissions, which is what was happening the first two waves,” Dr. Maniatis said.
At the peak of the COVID-19 surge in 2020, SIUH had more than 200 COVID patients admitted daily.
While Dr. Maniatis hopes they never get back to that point, there is a COVID surge plan in place. And that plan has been modified and fine tuned after each wave.
"It is based upon how many patients are in the building, how we are going to handle that and how many patients require intensive care therapy,” said Dr. Maniatis.
Parts of Staten Island have some of the highest positivity rates in the city, like zip code 10309, which is reporting more than an 11% positivity rate. Dr. Maniatis says he expects those rates to continue to rise with the new variants.
But unlike last year, the flu is going around this year as well. His advice: protect yourself and the hospital system by getting vaccinated and boosted.