Uptick in Respiratory Viruses


Lourdes, UHS and the Broome County Health Department are monitoring an increase in hospitalizations associated with COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV) and the flu, and recommending that the public take steps to avoid exposure. Cases of respiratory illness are at an all-time high in the Southern Tier, with some hospitals once again requiring patients, visitors and staff to mask up. Masks are required at UHS and recommended at Lourdes. The public is also being encouraged to take steps to avoid getting and spreading the illnesses: wash your hands frequently, get vaccinated and consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings. Also, because of the increase in patients seeking care in the hospitals, it’s important to know when to visit an Emergency Room and when to opt for a Walk-In if you’re not feeling well. An emergency room is best if you are experiencing a critical, life-threatening medical situation. Wait times vary because hospital staff need to treat the most seriously ill and injured patients first. A walk-in center exists to provide patients with immediate care for situations that cannot wait for a scheduled physician’s appointment, and can include such illnesses as coughs, sore throats, rashes, ear infections and sinus pain.