Are you paying attention yet?
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday ahead of potential COVID-19 case spikes this winter, and warned that the new Omicron variant is coming.
The new COVID-19 variant—identified as B.1.1.529 and named Omicron on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO) in an emergency meeting—was first observed in Botswana in southern Africa and carries dozens of mutations on the spike protein that could make the virus capable of evading immunity from prior infections or vaccination.
“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming,” Hochul said.
“In preparation, I am announcing urgent steps today to expand hospital capacity and help ensure our hospital systems can tackle any challenges posed by the pandemic as we head into the winter months.”
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