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Home / Health / The next wave has already begun.As the number of COVID-19 grows, the capital area braces

The next wave has already begun.As the number of COVID-19 grows, the capital area braces

Albany-In the capital area, a second wave of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths is brewing. But will it be as bad as the first time?

If there is one thing that public health experts and hospital leaders don’t like to do, it can predict the future-especially when many things depend on the weary public and the behavior of the virus that we still don’t understand. But they expressed the hope that public vigilance, coupled with the greatly expanded testing and tracking capabilities in the region, will help protect us from the worst possible scenario.

Eli Rosenberg, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Albany School of Public Health, said: “Frankly speaking, based on our response to the epidemic in the past month, I am hopeful for the next few months. “I think it really has something to do with testing. In March, the virus took off on this terrible index slope. Suddenly, it was an incredible thing. It was so mysterious. Now, it is not so mysterious anymore. Now we Tested and tracked, we can react in an intelligent way.”


Signs of the second wave

Almost every metric will bring the capital region into the second wave.

The Times Union’s analysis of local county data shows that the daily number of new cases in eight local counties has increased significantly. Compared with the spring peak of 147 new cases recorded in the region on May 1, there were only 17 cases recently. The region has broken through 100 new daily cases only four times this year-three cases occurred this month.

The five-day rolling average of new daily cases in the region (a more forgiving indicator that takes into account sporadic jumps and abnormalities) reached its highest point since spring Monday, averaging 78 cases. This average reached a peak of 117 on May 2 and only reached a low of 13 on June 17.

According to the state’s COVID-19 Information Center, the proportion of positive tests conducted on residents in the area also rose from 0.5 on September 26 to 1.3 on October 26. However, depending on the ability to test at any given time and whether the basic workers are repeatedly tested, this indicator may be a less reliable indicator.

Local officials are most concerned about the recent rise in hospitalizations. According to data released by the state, the number of daily hospitalizations in the area has increased by more than 400% in the past month alone, from 15 on September 27 to 80 on October 27. The head of the Capital Region Hospital gathered at the Albany Medical Center on Wednesday to warn of the increase in this situation and urge the public to be vaccinated against influenza and to be vigilant in using masks, keeping distance and hand hygiene.

Fred Wendi, director of the Albany Medical Center Hospital, said: “It seems that for us, the next wave has already begun.”

Good news in the first place. Wangditi and other hospital officials said the number of cases is increasing but the severity is decreasing.

“Interestingly, the outcome of patients who are hospitalized now is very different from that of spring,” Dr. Stephen Hanks, chief clinical officer of St. Peter’s Health Partners, told The Times. “The mortality rate seems to be much lower. Compared with the spring, the number of inpatients going to the intensive care unit has decreased. Compared with the spring, the number of patients requiring ventilation has decreased. Compared with the spring, deaths from COVID-19 The number of patients hospitalized has declined.”

Although officials have some ideas, the reason is not clear. Hanks and Venditti said that doctors already know when and in what combination to treat patients to produce the best results. There is also a theory circulating that the use of masks may shield people exposed to the virus from the virus dose than people in other situations.

Hanks said: “This is all speculation.” “But these are all things we have to consider, which may include changes in the virus as the virus mutates in the wild. This is the good news part of the story. Bad The news is that the virus continues to spread.”

Although the death rate appears to be declining, the number of deaths has increased in recent weeks. In the first three months of the pandemic, there was a wave of deaths in the area, and then sporadic deaths during the summer. Some counties have not seen it for several months. However, in recent weeks, these stripes have ended. As of Tuesday, at least 360 residents in the capital regions of the eight counties are known to have died from the virus.

‘COVID fatigue is real’

From the beginning, public health experts and epidemiologists around the world have warned that, like the Spanish flu of 1918, the coronavirus pandemic will occur in the waves-severely hit in the cold months and in the summer. death. Although the United States experienced a second wave outside the Northeast this summer, it is now entering the third wave, but this is usually the case in New York and the Capital Region.

Part of the reason is that the virus travels shorter in the dry and cold air. Another reason is that when the weather turns cold, people tend to spend more time indoors, and there are fewer and fewer places for the virus from the infected to escape.

Unfortunately, officials worry that the integration of other factors will lead to a surge this winter. Public health officials say that people are exhausted from the stress and isolation caused by the epidemic, and a kind of “COVID fatigue” has developed, leading to increased socialization and decreased vigilance.

Rosenberg said: “The COVID fatigue is real. This is multi-level fatigue-as the cold season approaches, people relax their vigilance and visit their families more,’Oh, I can’t eat in an outdoor restaurant, I will only be indoors Try it a few times.” All of this is true. “

Although they may already be able to count on people staying away from their loved ones when they contract the virus in the spring, this situation is novel, but the lockdown measures are novel, but officials are now worried about the upcoming holidays and the possibility of college students returning from hot spots Will exacerbate a surge in new cases at the worst time.

Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Warren said people have linked the reopening of schools and businesses with the green light of pre-pandemic behavior.

She said: “People think this means they can do other things, such as attending parties and social events in groups, or putting down their masks, keeping their distance from society and avoiding large gatherings to relax their vigilance.” “But the latter three strategies are more comparable. It’s more important than ever before, and what people need to understand is that our ability to keep business operations and schools open depends entirely on these behaviors.

Whalen and other health officials who spoke with Time Union agreed that this year people should try to avoid gatherings with family and friends outside of their immediate family.

She said: “I know it’s difficult.” “But I think this year is a different year, and I think people need to take this into account when planning. Because the last thing we want is to get the family together. Over a holiday, this should be to celebrate what we are grateful for, and thus cause illness or illness of the loved ones.

Ready for the second round

Although local health officials hope that the second wave will not be as big as the first wave, they are preparing for emergencies that may occur in the coming months.

On Wednesday, hospital leaders urged the public to resist fatigue and remain vigilant, paying attention to basic precautions such as washing hands and wearing masks outside public places. They also urge people to get vaccinated against influenza-a move that will help move people out of hospitals when COVID-19 surges. The local hospital also announced that they will order all staff (including those who practice private doctors) to receive influenza vaccination and exempt them for medical and religious reasons. They said this will affect approximately 35,000 medical staff in the area.

Dr. David Liebers, an infectious disease expert at Ellis Medicine, said: “We don’t know where the curve is going.” “The more positive we are, the better. This may be a difficult winter, but we can stick to what we have done so far and make It becomes a better winter.”

Venditti noted that Albany Med (Albany Med) has been reviewing its emergency response plan throughout the summer and making adjustments as appropriate. The hospital surge plan developed in the spring is still on file in the state. In accordance with the requirements of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the hospital has established a 90-day supply of PPE. They also started to disinfect disposable PPE for reuse. This practice has been used to preserve supplies as early as the spring, but nurses protested against this, believing that doing so would put them at risk.

Venditti said: “We must use PPE with caution.” “That said, we are only doing (CDC) or Ministry of Health approved reuse… We are proceeding cautiously. It is expected that there will be two months. Months will be reduced on the road, and we may be in another situation with limited supply.”

Towards the end of 2020, the hospital also filed an application with the state to administer any COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines are expected to be sold in the basic worker market in January 2021, while the rest of the population will be available before the spring.

Warren said that before this, individuals can play an important role in maintaining community safety.

She said: “If people don’t follow the rules and people continue to behave like scams, or they don’t exist at all, or they don’t like to wear masks, yes, we may go towards (another shutdown),” she said. “I sincerely hope that this will not become a reality.”

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