New York officials confirm 5 cases of omicron Covid variants across the state

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On November 19, 2021, a sign outside a New York City hospital promotes COVID-19 testing.

Spencer Pratt | Getty Images

Hours after cases were detected in Minnesota and Colorado, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday night that New York State has confirmed 5 cases of omicron Covid-19 variants across the state.

She said at the press conference that cases have been detected in Suffolk County, two in Queens, one in Brooklyn, and one in New York City. Minnesota health authorities earlier Thursday confirmed the second case of the omicron Covid variant in the United States among a resident who recently returned from New York City.

Earlier in the day, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett stated that it was only a matter of time before the omicron case was confirmed somewhere in the state. “We have an exposure now. We fully expect it to be discovered in the next few days,” she said.

New York City Health Commissioner David Choksh said in a tweet that a man in Minnesota found the case after returning from a meeting at the Javits Center. This is unlikely to be an isolated case. “This means there are ongoing The spread of community Omicron variants in New York.”

The first severely mutated strain in the United States was sequenced in California earlier this week.

Health officials in the United States and around the world worry that omicron is more contagious and may to some extent evade the protection provided by existing vaccines. This variant has about 50 mutations, of which more than 30 occur on the spike protein that the virus uses to attach to human cells.

“The molecular spectrum of the various mutations you see [in omicron] The White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told reporters on Wednesday that this suggests that it may be more communicable and may evade some of the protection of the vaccine. “But we don’t know now.

The Biden administration formulated a plan on Thursday to combat omicron and the major delta variant of the virus that may surge during the winter. The White House requires all international travelers entering the country to undergo Covid testing within 24 hours before departure. The government is extending the mask requirements for domestic flights and public transportation until March 18. It also expanded the opportunities for free Covid testing at home.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that omicron has been confirmed in at least 23 countries around the world. The variant was first discovered in Botswana last month and was brought to the attention of the World Health Organization by public health officials in South Africa.

WHO technical director Maria Van Kerkhove said on Wednesday that the number of hospitalizations in South Africa is on the rise, but more data is needed before conclusions can be drawn on whether omicron causes more serious diseases.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that patients who tested positive for omicron in California have been fully vaccinated with mild symptoms and are improving. The person between the ages of 18 and 49 did not receive the booster dose because they were less than six months away from the initial vaccination course.

The California Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Gurry, said that the fact that the patient’s symptoms are mild and improving highlights the importance of vaccines.

The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna stated that it will take about two weeks to collect enough data to determine how the omicron mutation affects the effectiveness of current vaccines. They have stated that they will not be able to develop a lens specifically for this variant until early 2022. However, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel stated that the company can launch higher dose boosters faster.


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