BREAKING: NYC urges residents to MASK again to prevent the spread of RSV, flu and Covid
- New Yorkers are urged to mask to prevent the spread of RSV and flu
New York City officials are again advising residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like Covid, but even flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Dr. NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan released an advisory today urging the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces. It is not a mandate and will not be enforced by city officials, but some private companies may choose to follow it.
A press release mentions the increase in Covid, RSV and the flu hitting the city. The Big Apple is currently recording 3,761 daily Covid infections, up 55 percent over the past two weeks. The city confirmed more than 11,000 flu cases during the last week of November.
The move follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). mask on to avoid non-Covid respiratory viruses earlier this week.
America has been hit by massive flu and RSV spikes this season. It has been described as the worst flu season since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. More than 80 percent of U.S. hospital beds are currently in use due to the spike — a figure higher than at any point during the pandemic.
‘Today [Dr Vasan] has issued an advisory as NYC faces high levels of COVID-19, flu and RSV,” the agency wrote in a tweet.
“New Yorkers are strongly advised to wear masks in public indoor environments and busy outdoor environments.”
The order piggybacks on the CDC’s advice earlier this week. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the agency, said at a briefing Monday, “we also encourage you to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory disease.”
Nationally, America recorded 35,704 confirmed cases of the flu during the week ending Dec. 3.
This is a slight decrease from the 35,993 recorded a week earlier – the first time weekly cases have fallen since the start of the flu season.
The agency also reports that 25 percent of flu tests come back positive — matching the total from the week before.
New York City has been designated by the CDC as a “very high” flu transmission area, receiving the most severe classification.
The most recent report on the flu confirmed more than 11,000 cases in the city in the week ending Nov. 26.
The number is more than double last week’s total of 5,500 confirmed infections.
In all, the CDC considers 26 states to be areas with “very high” flu circulation — a decrease from the 44 states that received the classification last week.
Ten states receive the highest ranking: Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.
This indicates that the flu may be burning up after spreading rampantly across the US for the past three months.
Experts have said this flu season started earlier than last year, so it could possibly have peaked in early December – when it usually peaks at the end of the month.
New York City does not provide weekly updates for RSV.
This story is evolving and will be updated