Brooklyn Magazine: Top Brooklyn doc on covid surge: ‘I’m worried about late January’


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Slow, politicized and confusing as it is, the coronavirus vaccine rollout is here. Positive test results for the virus are on a—completely foreseeable and utterly avoidable—post-holiday uptick. At least 54 new coronavirus deaths and 6,339 new cases were reported in New York City alone on Jan. 7, according to the New York Times. Over the past week, there has been an average of 5,209 cases per day, an increase of 31 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

“I’m worried about mid- to late-January to see what the impact the holiday has on transmission and patients coming into the hospital,” says Dr. Bret Rudy, senior vice president and chief of operations at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn in Sunset Park.

“We started to really see a surge here in Brooklyn after Thanksgiving,” says Rudy, on the latest episode of “Brooklyn Magazine: The Podcast.”

“We are nowhere near close to where we were in the spring, but it’s definitely different now from where it was in September,” he adds. “We’re seeing many of the patients that come in to see us had an exposure in their own home, among family, which is why household transmission is so important to pay attention too and to isolate if you are sick.”

Grim. But it’s not all gloom and doom. There is, for starters, the aforementioned vaccine.

Three coronavirus vaccine hubs opened Sunday to people eligible to receive the inoculation—one in Brooklyn at Bushwick Education Campus–as well as in Queens at Hillcrest High School and South Bronx Educational Campus.

Also opened yesterday was a so-called 24/7 “mass vax” site at Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park and another in the Bronx at Bathgate Industrial Park.

Rudy, who had the unique challenge of running hospital operations in a hotspot in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, sees light at the end of the tunnel. The only question is how long that tunnel is.

On the podcast we discuss the current state of coronavirus play here in Brooklyn, whether we can expect another surge (spoiler: we can) and what it will look like. And we discuss the vaccine—the facts and the myths, which are in no short supply.

“You have to continually educate,” say Rudy about vaccine disbelievers. “I do think [with] the concerns that people have about vaccines, you have to listen to them and you have to answer them honestly and you have to make it pertinent for them. All of our experiences are not the same.”

The post Top Brooklyn doc on covid surge: ‘I’m worried about late January’ appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

Brooklyn Magazine