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Central New York is on the other side of a recent COVID surge, Upstate doctor says

 The exterior of Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse as seen from the street.
Upstate Medical University
The exterior of Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse as seen from the street.

This state's latest rise in COVID-19 cases appeared prominently in Central New York, but now Onondaga County is seeing the second biggest decline in infections compared to other counties in the state.

Upstate Medical University's Dr. Chris Tanski said the recent slow down in new coronavirus cases is encouraging.

"If you look at the COVID-19 hospitalizations, they were increasing slowly but steadily over the past few weeks, but now it seems like we’re on a bit of a plateau," said Tanski, the university hospital's medical director for throughput and capacity.

He said infections will likely continue to fall as temperatures warm up.

“The opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person is less simply because people are outside more and they’re spread out more," he said.

Tanski said that the hospital has been struggling with staffing shortages throughout the last two years, but he said the patients admitted during this most recent jump haven't been experiencing as severe cases of COVID-19 as seen earlier in the pandemic.

“We did not see the same surge in admissions to the intensive care unit as we saw with previous surges, particularly the first one. Many of the patients that are admitted are not admitted for COVID; they may test positive for COVID and admitted for another reason,” he said.

Health officials attribute the most recent surge to pockets of unvaccinated residents, waning immunity from previous infections, and less mask wearing.