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U.S. military medical team members assigned to 1st Medical Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, are welcomed by staff as they arrive at the Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2022.

U.S. military medical team members assigned to 1st Medical Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, are welcomed by staff as they arrive at the Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2022. (Andre Taylor/U.S. Army)

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NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — A team of military medics began work at Coney Island Hospital on Monday, the hospital said, promising extra support for a Brooklyn medical center that’s been hit hard by the omicron coronavirus wave.

The Defense Department deployment is part of a flood of medical reinforcements across the U.S. uncorked by President Biden. Another team is expected to begin work at North Central Bronx Hospital next Monday.

The Coney Island group arrived on Saturday and was trained over the weekend, according to NYC Health & Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system. The team is expected to remain at the hospital for at least 30 days.

New York City appears to have braved the worst of the winter surge. Case and hospitalization tallies have sunk dramatically since the middle of the month, according to government data.

But some 2,400 New Yorkers in the city were hospitalized due to COVID entering this week, according to state figures. And high positivity rates continue to create challenges for thin-staffed hospitals.

According to state data, New York City’s seven-day test positivity rate was still about 8% on Monday, down from 14% a week earlier, but still quite high.

“As we’ve seen in previous waves, hospitalization rates don’t decline as early as COVID positivity rates,” Svetlana Lipyanskaya, the chief executive of Coney Island Hospital, said in a statement. “As such, we’re still very much in the thick of this wave.”

“Our amazing staff have been working tirelessly to care for our communities, and we welcome the opportunity to support them with reinforcements,” she added in the statement.

The 371-bed Coney Island facility continues to face a heavy census of patients, according to NYC Health & Hospitals.

The immunity-dodging, heavily mutated omicron COVID variant has washed over much of the city and nation over the past few weeks, raising cautious hopes that a surge in natural immunity could generate a reprieve or even a close to the pandemic.

But the battle is not over, and public officials pressed New Yorkers to support health care workers by completing their vaccine courses and receiving booster shots.

The extra jabs are highly effective at warding off severe COVID infections that require hospital care, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Please, get vaccinated, get boosted, protect yourself and support our essential workers,” Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said in a statement.

©2022 New York Daily News.

Visit nydailynews.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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