Dubbed a triple or tridemic, it’s the perfect viral storm — COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza (flu) — all hitting at the same time.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a high level of these three respiratory viruses. Nationally, hospitalizations for flu reached the highest levels for this time of year in more than a decade. COVID-19 hospitalization have also been steadily increasing in the last three weeks.
Rising numbers of flu and RSV reports in NYC, along with a 7-day average of COVID-19 reported cases and hospitalizations increasing by 29% and 26%, respectively, has prompted NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan to issue a health advisory strongly urging New Yorkers to mask up again, recommending mask use inside stores, public transit, schools, child care facilities, and other public or crowded shared spaces.
“The holiday season is about togetherness and there is a way to gather safely – even as respiratory viruses in our city are unusually high,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Friday. “It starts with protecting yourself. Vaccination and boosters are critical but so are common sense precautions like masking when indoors or among crowds and staying home if you don’t feel well. Also, get tested before getting together, and get treated quickly if you test positive. We want everyone to have a happy and – most of all – healthy holiday.”
Will New Jersey health officials follow with a strong call to mask up?
On the CDC COVID-19 County Check page, Essex County is still at medium (New York City is at “high”), but Bergen County is already at high.
Last year around this time, Montclair enacted a 30-day mask mandate. The council then voted in January to extend the mandate through the end of March, but voted in February to repeal the mandate effective March 1, 2022.
Are you masking up again indoors and on public transit? Or have you never stopped?