Healthcare facilities managers are tired. They and their peers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities have spent most of the last three years responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rethinking facility operations and layouts to protect the health of staff and patients. Now as colder weather returns, managers face the real possibility of a three-pronged challenge to their operations and capacities.
The United States continues to see an unusual and early spike in flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections on top of a new wave of COVID-19 cases, which overwhelm healthcare facilities nationwide.
Over 4,300 influenza patients were admitted to hospitals in the week ending Oct. 29, the highest for that period in a decade and nearly double the prior week, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While flu season is usually between October and May, peaking in December and January, this year's flu season began six weeks earlier, at a level not seen since the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, according to the CDC. There have been at least 1,600,000 illnesses, 13,000 hospitalizations, and 730 deaths from flu so far this season in the United States, data showed.
Flu activity continue to increase nationwide, according to the CDC. The southeastern and south-central areas of the country are reporting the highest levels of activity followed by the Mid-Atlantic and the south-central West Coast regions.