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Novel coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know about New York’s preparedness

New York’s hospitals are taking every measure to maintain preparedness for emerging infections, including COVID-19.

This post was updated on Feb. 18, 2020, to reflect the official naming of the disease.

First identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, continue to climb.

Though COVID-19 presents unique challenges, New York’s hospitals and health systems have extensive experience successfully managing outbreaks. In the past 20 years, they have been leaders in tackling the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 2009 influenza pandemic (“swine flu”), the 2014 Ebola outbreak and others.

New York’s preparedness and readiness for emerging infections is unrelenting. Hospital staff are on the front lines in the fight against emerging infections every day. They quickly identify potential pathogens of public health concern and keep New Yorkers and visitors to our state safe. Their leadership, preparedness and swift response have limited the spread of past outbreaks, and they are taking every measure to do so again now. 

Public health authorities and scientists are continuously learning more about COVID-19, which is part of the large coronavirus family. Strains of coronavirus have previously been attributed to the “common cold” and SARS. There is no vaccine for COVID-19, and treatment is limited to managing the symptoms caused by the virus.

Hospitals are working closely with the New York State Department of Health and their local health departments to monitor trends and respond accordingly. They are adapting quickly to new protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NYSDOH as these protocols become available.  

New York’s hospitals and health systems are taking every measure to maintain preparedness for COVID-19. They are committed to providing high-quality, safe care to all patients and protecting the health of the workforce that serves those patients.

Want to learn more about the novel coronavirus? We encourage you to follow information provided by these sources: