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What is a ‘tripledemic’? Can Finger Lakes hospitals handle COVID, flu, and RSV?

Why are health leaders concerned about winter?

Hospitals are already struggling with capacity issues. It’s a double-pronged problem. First, there’s the ongoing staffing shortages that hospitals and healthcare facilities have faced since the pandemic. Second, is the rise of upper-respiratory illnesses that are not COVID-19.

The answer, they say, is to get a COVID booster shot, flu shot, and practice social distancing when sick.


Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said earlier this week that RSV cases are on the rise.

“We are already seeing an early and severe RSV season,” Mendoza said. “All signs are pointing to an early and more severe influenza season. And as we have experienced in the past two winters, a COVID surge is also a big possibility — hence the so-called ‘tripledemic.'”

Health leaders have also recently reported seeing an increase in routine care visits, increasing the strain on a health system in flux.



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