Seasonal Uptick in Respiratory Illnesses

There has been an uptick in respiratory illnesses such as COVID, RSV, Flu, and the common cold both among the Callen-Lorde community and outside of our doors in the last few weeks.  

Everyone at Callen-Lorde is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to wear a mask at all times in the clinic, and are strongly encouraged to receive flu, updated COVID vaccines, and, if eligible, RSV vaccines. If patients are symptomatic or have a positive screen at the front door, they will be asked to mask. We are also requiring all Callen-Lorde staff members to wear a mask in rooms when meeting with patients, regardless of the length of time with patient.  

The fastest-spreading new COVID variant is JN.1, which makes up 62% of COVID cases in the US. Luckily, the rate of hospitalization due to this new variant is much lower than with previous variants. Despite this, we should remain vigilant to avoid COVID and protect ourselves, our patients, and our loved ones. 

Here are some reminders and tips: 

  1. Please take care of yourself and your communities by monitoring yourself for symptoms such as cough, fever, or congestion before gathering in large groups and staying home if you have any symptoms. 
  2. Please consider wearing a well-fitting mask when indoors. Wearing a mask protects you from droplets or aerosolized virus and protects those around you if you are sick but not yet showing symptoms. 
  3. Receiving an influenza vaccine and the updated COVID vaccine is highly recommended. The COVID vaccine has been updated for the 2023-2024 season and is designed to protect against newer COVID-19 variants and strengthen people’s protection against the virus. Vaccination can help reduce the duration and severity of COVID-19 symptoms if you become sick, and it reduces the risk of long COVID for adults and children. Vaccines are readily available at Callen-Lorde and pharmacies. 
  4. In addition, RSV vaccine should be considered for adults 60 and older, pregnant people, infants, and young children. 

 We are continuing to monitor the situation and will make necessary changes to our protocols as needed.