New Yorkers urged to mask up indoors amid spiking ‘tridemic’ cases

The flu, COVID-19 and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are going around here in NYC just in time for the holidays—what a gift!

According to the city’s health department, flu cases have been increasing since the end of October (which is several weeks earlier than in recent flu seasons). In fact, during the week of November 26, 2022, flu-like illness made up 12% of all weekly emergency department visits. This year has had the highest levels of hospitalization from the flu in over a decade, and an estimated 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4,500 deaths from flu so far this season (through November 26, 2022).

On top of that, in the last two weeks of November, the 7-day average of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased by 29% and 26%, respectively. RSV reports are still elevated, higher than in previous years, too.

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With all of this going on, what has been dubbed a “tridemic” in the media, the NYC Department of Health has issued an advisory, recommending that New Yorkers wear their masks indoors—inside stores, offices, lobbies, hallways, elevators, public transportation, schools, child care facilities, and other public shared spaces, and even when in a crowded outdoor setting. 

Health officials say you should especially wear it if you’re sick and unable to isolate, such as when traveling to and from the doctor, picking up groceries, and when in shared living spaces. And remember, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should be isolated at home for at least five days and wear a mask at all times whenever in public or around other people for at least 10 days after their symptoms began (or, if they had no symptoms, for 10 days after their test date).

It’s better to be safe than sorry and miss your holiday plans! Stay well, New York.

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