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Governor updates New Yorkers on ongoing winter preparedness efforts to protect against RSV, flu, COVID-19


Wed, Dec 7th 2022 07:40 pm

35 statewide deaths reported on Dec. 6

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating the coronavirus. She also updated New Yorkers on winter preparedness efforts, urging individuals to “take proven prevention measures to protect against respiratory syncytial virus, flu, and COVID-19, and reduce the patient burden on local hospitals.”

Hochul said, "New Yorkers can't get complacent in our fight against the triple threat of COVID, RSV and influenza – we have to take advantage of the resources at our disposal so that we come out of this winter season healthy and happy. We should all celebrate the holidays while taking preventative measures, getting tested and vaccinated, and talking to a doctor if you feel ill. Let's make sure we keep our guard up against these illnesses, and that we continue to protect each other – especially our most vulnerable."

This week, the New York State Department of Health issued a new report showing a 76% week-over-week jump in lab-confirmed flu cases across New York, and week-over-week hospitalizations up 67%.

Hochul’s team said, “Cases of influenza have now been detected in all 62 counties across the state, highlighting the need for New Yorkers to take steps and precautions that will reduce the risk of severe illness for children and adults.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Our message is simple but urgent: Get vaccinated today. We have highly effective, safe vaccines for both flu and for COVID. The vaccine for COVID is the new bivalent vaccine, the one that is for the first time keyed to the circulating variants that we have. If you haven't gotten the bivalent vaccine, that's the one you should get. I urge every New Yorker who has not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community."

Hochul previously launched a public awareness campaign featuring Bassett speaking directly to New Yorkers about the three viruses (RSV, flu and COVID-19) now circulating in the state, with similar symptoms and the potential to cause serious illness. Produced by the New York State Department of Health, the videos include a short clip and a longer version geared toward parents; and a version aimed specifically at health care providers.

The governor continues to remind New Yorkers that children ages 5 and older may now receive the bivalent booster shots that are recommended to increase protection against coronavirus. She also urges New Yorkers to get their bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

To schedule an appointment for a booster, New Yorkers can contact their local pharmacy, county health department, or health care provider; visit vaccines.gov; text their ZIP code to 438829; or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.

In addition, Hochul encourages New Yorkers to get their annual flu vaccine, as flu season is widespread across New York. Her team said, “The flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 are both circulating, so getting vaccinated against both is the best way to stay healthy and to avoid added stress to the health care system.”

The State Department of Health is continuing its annual public education campaign, reminding adults and parents to get both flu and COVID-19 shots for themselves and children 6 months and older. Advertisements in both English and Spanish language began running last month.

For information about flu vaccine clinics, contact the local health department or visit vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/.

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