New York City could face another coronavirus explosion after gaining control of its first devastating spike in March and April, medical experts say.
While the city initially struggled to contain the virus with overwhelmed hospitals and a shortage of personal protective equipment in the spring, it has reported record-low case numbers since late April.
A combination of colder weather and students’ return to school, however, could change that, according to a Wednesday report from Politico.
“The second wave is a misconception: It’s the omnipresent risk of explosive spread,” Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the outlet. “That’s what we’re facing.”
A number of New York residents told the New York Times in a Tuesday report that there is a growing feeling of anxiety and “impending doom” in the city.
Health experts may be more prepared for a new surge in cases, however, knowing what to expect. Some city hospitals including Northwell, Mount Sinai and NYU Langone Health are already stockpiling supplies, Politico reported.
But medical centers also may face a staff shortage after New York medical staff were deployed across the country to help other states battling the virus, according to the outlet. Others still are experiencing trauma from March and April.
“We were the first and the worst in New York, and we had to come up with a lot of solutions that weren’t national solutions on the fly,” Don Boyce, vice president of emergency management at Mount Sinai, told Politico, adding that the hospital is “watching numbers and trends so carefully” so that it’s prepared for a new spike.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly warned of a potential second wave in the U.S. He praised New York in July, however, for its efforts to contain the virus.
“We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York,” Fauci said in a July interview with “PBS NewsHour.” “New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”