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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 04, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes ago

COVID-19 News-United States: New York Makes Mask Mandatory In All Hospitals, Clinics And Nursing Homes As COVID-19 Infections Increase Exponentially!

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COVID-19 News-United States: New York Makes Mask Mandatory In All Hospitals, Clinics And Nursing Homes As COVID-19 Infections Increase Exponentially!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 04, 2024  1 month, 2 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes ago
COVID-19 News-United States: New York City is facing a formidable challenge as COVID-19, flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases surge once again. In a proactive response to the escalating crisis, the city has reinstated comprehensive mask mandates across all public hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes. This COVID-19 News-United States report delves into the multifaceted aspects of the resurgence, exploring the data, mandates, and the broader implications for public health.


New York Brings Back Mask Mandates
 
The Escalating Crisis: Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations
The alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City has prompted health authorities to take swift action. Citywide data reveals a spike causing an exponential rise in hospitalizations. Notably affected are East New York in Brooklyn, Mott Haven/Port Morris in the Bronx, and Silver Lake/St. George on Staten Island.
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/daily-hospitalization-summary
 
Waste water monitoring also shows that SARS-CoV-2 infection levels are high.
https://covid19.sccgov.org/dashboard-wastewater
 
The resurgence has triggered concerns about the strain on healthcare facilities, prompting a comprehensive review of preventive measures.
 
The Tripledemic Warning: Flu, RSV, and COVID Converge
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of a potential "tripledemic" late 2023, highlighting the convergence of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 cases. New York City now finds itself at the "very high" level of respiratory illness, the highest on the CDC's scale. The fear is that the overlap of these respiratory viruses could overwhelm hospitals and health clinics, necessitating stringent measures to curb transmission.
 
Mask Mandates Resurface: A Citywide Initiative
In response to the escalating crisis, New York City has reintroduced mask mandates in all 11 public hospitals, 30 health centers, and five long-term care facilities operated by NYC Health + Hospitals. Health Commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan emphasizes that masks are mandated in areas where patients receive treatment, reflecting a targeted approach to curbing the spread within healthcare settings. The decision aims not only to protect patients but also to safeguard healthcare staff from the increasing risk of infection.
 
National Landscape: States Adopting Similar Measures
New York City's response is not isolated; several states, including Illinois, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin, have implemented masking guidelines.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/hospitals-states- reinstating-mask-requirements/story?id=106029939
 
The U.S. CDC reports 29,059 new weekly hospital admissions due to COVID-19 across the U.S. during the week ending December 23, marking the seventh consecutive week of increases. Parallelly, flu-related hospitalizations have surged, reaching 14,732 admissions nationwide for the same period.
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home
 
The Data Dynamics: Analyzing Trends and Patterns
While there is a decline in the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York from 106 on December 20 to 50 on December 25, caution is urged due to potential reporting delays over the holiday season.
https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page#daily
 
Weekly flu hospitalizations, on the other hand, have been steadily increasing since early October, reaching 696 for the week ending December 23. A comprehensive analysis of these trends provides critical insights into the evolving nature of the crisis.
 
Booster Uptake Challenges: Contributing to the Surge
A potential contributor to the spike in infections is the low uptake of booster shots. Despite over 80% of New Yorkers receiving their initial COVID-19 vaccine, only 18% of the total population has received the bivalent booster, as reported by The New York Times. Addressing this gap in booster uptake becomes crucial in the fight against the ongoing surge and in preventing severe outcomes.
 
Pertussis on the Rise
Beyond COVID-19 and flu, localized outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) have been reported in Suffolk County on Long Island. With 108 cases reported or suspected in 2023, including 100 since November 28, the outbreak primarily affects vaccinated children and their parents. The emergence of pertussis adds another layer of complexity to the current respiratory health challenges.
https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Health-Services/Health-News/ArtMID/3434/ArticleID/11317/Suffolk-Health-Officials-Alert-Public-of-Rise-in-Pertussis-Cases
 
Community Resistance and Vaccine Hesitancy: Challenges in Minority Communities
Dr Tapia Mendoza, who experienced the frontline response in Washington Heights, highlights the challenges in communities with higher rates of asthma, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This season, a vaccine is available for all three respiratory viruses; however, resistance to flu vaccines persists, particularly in minority communities. Overcoming vaccine hesitancy becomes a critical aspect of comprehensive public health strategies.
 
Health Advocates' Perspective: Preparedness and Tools for the Fight
Health advocates stress that the rise in respiratory illnesses, while significant, isn't vastly different from previous years. However, the lessons learned during the pandemic have equipped healthcare systems with tools and strategies to address the current challenges more effectively. Dr Ashwin Vasan emphasizes the importance of staying home when feeling unwell and underscores that New Yorkers have tools and strategies at their disposal to navigate the surge.
 
Conclusion
As New York City faces increasing levels of sickness, the reinstatement of mask mandates across healthcare facilities signals a proactive response to the triple threat of COVID-19, flu, and RSV. The city's health officials underscore the importance of vaccination, adherence to preventive measures, and staying home when unwell. The experiences and lessons learned during the pandemic serve as a foundation for a more prepared and resilient healthcare system in the face of the ongoing challenges posed by respiratory illnesses. As the nation grapples with the resurgence, a united and informed effort is paramount in navigating these turbulent times.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News-United States, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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