The Governor has instructed the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to begin enhanced monitoring of hospitals’ capacity to handle the increased volume of flu patients through the Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS). Hospitals can expect a request for information on their bed capacity, the status of their surge plans, and other resource capabilities and needs through a HERDS survey.

Based on the latest DOH surveillance data, hospitals have seen a 34% increase in flu-related hospitalizations from last week. There also has been a 9% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza statewide as compared to last week. While GNYHA is not aware of any vaccine or antiviral shortages, we are closely following demands on hospital capacity as the statewide surge in influenza cases continues.