New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is directing the State Health Department to take additional steps to make sure healthcare facilities are prepared for the rest of the flu season as the number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations takes another jump.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

Last week, 1,964 New Yorkers were hospitalized for the flu, a jump of 34% from the previous week. Locally, there has been word of a spike in flu cases recorded in Tioga County.

The Governor says he wants the Health Department to take all steps possible to make sure New York’s healthcare system remains prepared for an influx of patients as flu season doesn’t usually peak until February and March.

The Democrat also urged anyone who has not already done so to get the flu shot to protect themselves from the virus.

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The Health Department is ramping up enhanced monitoring of hospitals through the Health Emergency Response Data System or “HERDS” with facilities required to report flu-related information every week.