New York's COVID reinfection rate highest on Long Island amid 'tripledemic' concerns

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
NY COVID reinfection rate highest on Long Island
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The highest rate for COVID reinfection in New York is on Long Island, where it's 30% higher than the statewide rate. Chantee Lans has the story.

EAST MEADOW, Long Island (WABC) -- COVID reinfection is on the rise, in fact, the biggest surge in cases in New York is on Long Island.

Flu cases are higher than usual and are expected to soar amid this holiday season.

Aside from COVID, another virus, RSV, is already straining hospitals across the U.S. including in New York.

"We still are working really above capacity on a daily basis across the entire children's hospital," said Dr. James Schnieder, Chief of Pediatric Care Medicine at Cohen Children's Medical Center.

He said the children's wing has been above capacity for six weeks now.

"We're seeing mostly with RSV, and now we're starting to see more influenza," Dr. Schnieder said.

The question is why?

"What we really think is that for the last few years that during all of the lockdown of the pandemic, we just haven't been seeing these viruses because they had no opportunity to spread because people were separated from each other," Dr. Schnieder said.

ALSO READ | Pandemic learning loss hits New York City minority students hardest

This comes as the New York Health Department's numbers revealed that Long Island has the highest COVID reinfection rate in the state.

"It's quite shocking. I thought the pandemic was slowing down," North Bellmore resident Joyce Marinaccio said.

"We have continued to see, I'll call it a slow, smoldering cases of COVID," Dr. Schnieder said. "We are starting to see a slight rise now in the overall number of cases of COVID patients."

Many are calling the surge in COVID, flu and RSV a "tripledemic." Dr. Schnieder says his main concern now is the flu.

"Flu has really become now our most predominant virus," he said. "Only in the last maybe day or two, did it seem to overtake RSV."

With new omicron variants and more indoor gatherings during the cold, Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans asked what the COVID cases could look like this winter.

"I think time will tell. It's a hard question, a very good question to ask. I think we are all preparing to see an increase of COVID cases," Dr. Schnieder said.

Doctors say getting your flu and COVID shots will help you stay out of the emergency room and help hospitals ease their heavy case load.

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