The city Health Department is issuing an advisory as three respiratory illnesses are seeing high spikes.
Due to the rise of cases of COVID-19, influenza and RSV, the New York City Health Commissioner issued a Health Advisory that urges New York City residents to use high-quality masks when indoors and in crowded outdoor settings, particularly those who are at an increased risk for complications, such as those age 65 and older and people who are immunocompromised.
The advisory also urges people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu, even if they have been vaccinated previously.
“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. “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.”
Those who are at an increased risk of catching these viruses include people aged 65 and older, infants, people with a weakened immune system, people with certain underlying medical conditions, people who are pregnant, and people who are not up to date on flu or COVID-19 vaccinations. These groups, as well as other New York City residents, are highly encouraged to wear KN95 and KF94 mask or N95 respirator, limit attendance at large indoor gatherings, wearing a mask when gathering with others, and asking people to wear a mask and get a COVID-19 test prior to gathering.
With these three illnesses on the rise, the Health Department will continue to closely monitor COVID-19, influenza, RSV, hospital, and syndromic surveillance data. There have been high levels of cases and hospitalizations for all three viruses, putting both individuals at risk and straining the city’s healthcare system.
To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit NYC Vaccine Finder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).