Last Updated: Dec 11, 2022

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specific guidelines to make face masks mandatory for people when there is a certain level of COVID-19 spread in the community. As the world recuperates from the COVID-19 crisis, many people have stopped wearing face masks. However, now leading health experts from the US have urged people to put their face masks back on, but this time COVID-19 is not the only issue.

A triple threat of COVID-19, RSV, and flu is lurking across the US amid the holiday season. Health experts in the country have been encouraging people to wear face masks, keep up hand hygiene, and get vaccines to protect themselves.

Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and a professor in the unit of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, has cautioned that there is a huge threat to people at a greater risk risk of all three diseases. He has further said that it is advisable to put face masks back on to eliminate the threat of a tridemic. Many communities across the US are planning to bring back a few mask recommendations as many states in the nation have been witnessing a surge in RSV, COVID-19, and flu cases.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that a high-quality mask or respirator should be worn by people when a region deals with a high COVID-19 community level. Nearly 5.66 percent of counties in the US have been reporting a high level of COVID-19 community spread, including some counties in states like Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon, and the Dakotas.

Flu hospitalizations in New York have seen a twofold increase over the past three weeks. The State Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett has issued a warning to schools to follow precautions like indoor masking as flu, RSV, and COVID-19 cases are shooting up in the region. State officials have cautioned people, stating that many respiratory viruses might drain the state’s health care system very soon.

Health officials across various states have been urging people to take vaccines and other precautionary measures, such as masking and frequent hand washing, to protect themselves from these three respiratory diseases. The CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky has informed that COVID-19 community level metrics for most US counties depend on three factors, such as new COVID-19 cases, new hospitalizations, and hospital capacity. However, now the federal health agency is planning to revisit these community-level metrics and add data related to other respiratory diseases such as flu and RSV.

The data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows COVID-19 hospitalizations have been growing since Thanksgiving. As per the CDC data, around 34,000 people have been admitted to the hospital after contracting COVID-19 in the last week. In the last week of November, the CDC reported nearly 1800 deaths related to COVID-19. Health experts predict that the number of COVID-19 cases will also increase further in the upcoming month.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said that around 5 percent of the US population has been living in areas that have a high COVID-19 community level; therefore, people should consider putting their masks on before the situation goes out of control. Dr. Walensky has stated that people should stay home if they feel sick and maintain air ventilation in closed spaces.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is going to step down as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well has said that the return of the mask mandate in certain circumstances will be a good decision as the country is facing a triple threat of RSV, flu, and COVID-19.