Gov. Hochul on Minnesota omicron case with NYC connection: 'This is not unexpected.'
State and city leaders are responding to the Minnesota omicron variant case in a man who had visited New York City.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says there are still no official cases of the omicron variant detected in the state, but the Minnesota man who tested positive for it was in New York City for the anime convention at the Javits Center Nov. 19-21 before he developed symptoms.
Hochul said the man is fully vaccinated, but scientists are still learning just how effective vaccines are on the omicron variant.
The governor added the man only reported mild symptoms and is feeling better now but still was told to isolate as an extra safety measure.
Officials in Minnesota are working with both New York City and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try to figure out who else might have been exposed and if this could lead to the first confirmed case of the omicron in New York.
“CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant. We have been working closely with Minnesota’s Department of Health and will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners as we learn more," says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
At a news conference today that included the official introduction of new state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, Hochul said it's expected the omicron variant will show up here, and that they've been planning for with steps like the executive order limiting elective surgery at hospitals.
"This is not cause for alarm, again, it was foreseen ever since it was first seen out of South Africa that we knew it would come to New York state at some point," Hochul said. "And I want all New Yorkers to know that their state government, in collaboration with our local governments, our cities and our counties are prepared for this."
Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement saying, "Anyone who attended the AnimeNYC conference, especially anyone experiencing symptoms, should get tested immediately and take additional precautions, including social distancing. I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated, wear a face mask while indoors and in public, and help our city beat this virus once and for all.”
The governor says that she believes the best way to fight omicron is to be vaccinated, which everyone had to be in order to get into the Javits Center.