By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Saturday medical personnel from New York City and Long Island are deploying to at least two hospitals in Western New York dealing with a COVID surge.

Northwell Health sent a team of 16 clinical professionals and two team leaders to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo and the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

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Their two-week mission comes as New York State is seeing an increase in COVID infections and hospitalizations. Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations are up by 29%.

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More than 30 hospitals are canceling elective surgeries to free up beds.

The new indoor mask mandate is intended to fight another winter surge.

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Starting Monday, all businesses and venues statewide must require masks indoors for everyone if they do not require proof of full vaccination upon entry. The mandate will remain in effect until mid-January.

CBSNewYork Team