Nuvance Health Network brings back mask requirements amid COVID-19 uptick
Nuvance Health Network and medical practices are reviving masking in their facilities amid a recent uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
All staff and patients must wear face masks inside the medical offices and hospitals. Visitors are strongly recommended to wear them.
There are multiple Nuvance locations in Dutchess and Putnam counties, as well as Connecticut.
A spokesperson for Nuvance Health, which owns Vassar Brothers Medical Center and several other hospitals, says the mask requirement is a proactive decision to reduce the chances of COVID-19-related absences among staff.
She says Nuvance’s COVID-related hospitalizations aren't up significantly and there's no problem currently with staff absences.
News 12 reached out to all the major hospitals and several unions that represent hospital workers in the Hudson Valley. So far, Nuvance Health is the only hospital system to bring back the mask requirements.
Gov. Kathy Hochul encouraged New Yorkers to get an updated vaccine to guard against new variants once they become available this fall.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows about a 22% uptick in hospitalizations and deaths in the most recent week of data. Scientists are keeping an eye on variant BA.2.86, which has been picked up in very low levels of U.S. wastewater to see if it's more infectious or if it causes more severe disease.
CDC advisors are also expected to meet Sept. 12 to discuss whether to recommend an updated COVID-19 booster that will target Omicron subvariants. It will first have to be approved by the FDA before it could be up for recommendation by the CDC. If all goes as expected, the booster could be available in the U.S. by mid-September.