Yale New Haven Health bracing for influx of COVID, flu patients | Connecticut News

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – Between COVID and the flu, one of the state’s largest hospital systems says it’s already shaping up to be a busy Winter.

Yale New Haven Hospital says usually after the holidays, they see an uptick in cases due to family gatherings and Christmas parties, so they’re encouraging folks to get tested, get their booster, and continue to mask up in indoor public settings.

One year ago Wednesday, Yale New Haven Health got their first doses of the COVID vaccine and while their number of patients is currently half of what it was last December, there’s still cause for concern.

“Of the 210 patients we have, fifty-one are in the Intensive Care Unit and twenty-four of those are ventilators, so still very sick people and, unfortunately, for those of us who’ve begun to think of COVID as a chronic disease, we’re losing people to COVID every, single week across our health system,” Marna Borgstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health, tells us.

Going on nearly two years, the demand has been enormous, with staff working non stop.

Adding to the case load? More people getting admitted to the hospital after putting off care during the pandemic and after no flu cases last year, they’re already worried about what this Winter will bring.

“It will certainly be worse than last year, where we had none and we’re already seeing some cases here across the health system. That’s one concern,” Dr. Tom Balcezak of Yale New Haven Health stated.

Another is the Omicron variant, which seems to be highly contagious and is likely to become the dominant variant eventually.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker says they’ve been watching case numbers increase.

“The good news is many, many New Haven residents have gotten vaccinated. The bad news, there are still a lot of residents that need to get vaccinated and that’s both adults, but, in particular, younger people now eligible to get vaccinated, five and up, and people in their younger years, twenty-somethings,” explained Elicker.

And with the Omicron variant, experts says, while the vaccines work at keeping people from getting seriously sick and out of the hospital, the effectiveness eventually wanes, so they’re encouraging people to get their booster.

“I think there is a good reason to be worried. It does appear to be quite infectious and has a very strong ability to spread,” Dr. Balcezak added.

With the holidays approaching, New Haven says it will be increasing their testing capacity so folks can get tested to make sure they’re not potentially spreading the virus.

Doctors say, if you’re sick, coughing, symptoms of flu or COVID, get tested and don’t go to school or work until you get cleared.

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