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New BA.2 variant has health officials urging New Yorkers to keep COVID-19 safety guidelines

In the efforts to stop the spread, a new and highly transmissible strand of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has the country's top health officials concerned.

News 12 Staff

Mar 18, 2022, 10:10 AM

Updated 825 days ago

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In the efforts to stop the spread, a new and highly transmissible strand of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has the country's top health officials concerned.
The new Omicron subvariant, the BA.2 variant, has officially reached the U.S., but the good news is that New York's COVID-19 positivity rate is still relatively low, according to the governor's office.
As of Thursday, the rate counts at less than 2% over the last 13 days. However, health officials are urging New Yorkers to mask up and wash hands. There has been a small spike with the positivity rate jumping from 1.23% to 1.28% on Tuesday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul thanked New Yorkers for taking preventative measures like masking up and boosting up in an effort to keep hospitalization rates low. She says New Yorkers must still remain vigilant. The chief medical advisor to the president of the United States echoed that sentiment during a press conference on Thursday.
"... We certainly are concerned because I would not be surprised that if in the next few weeks, given the fact that we've begun to open up and we have an increase in BA.2 variant, we'll see increased cases. Hopefully that's not associated with an increase in hospitalizations and severe disease," says Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The New York City Health Department will be meeting today to hold a COVID-19 briefing just around 11 a.m.


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