Gov. Hochul: 3 more cases of COVID-19 omicron variant found in NYC

Three more cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant have been detected in New York City, bringing the state’s total to eight, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul.
So far, there are seven confirmed cases in New York City and one in Suffolk County.
"We knew the Omicron variant was coming and we expect to see more cases. But let me be clear: We are not defenseless," said Gov. Hochul in prepared remarks. "We have the tools to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus: Get your vaccine, get your booster, and wear your mask. Let's use these tools to protect ourselves and our loved ones as we approach the holidays."
Gov. Hochul signed an executive order last month stating that New York hospitals with less than 10% capacity need to delay elective surgeries through Jan. 15, or until they can increase staffing.
While some of the recent omicron patients traveled to South Africa, where the variant was originally detected, others have no travel history. New York City Health Commissioner David Chokshi says this means community spread is already happening.
None of the omicron variant patients in the U.S. have had severe symptoms or needed to be hospitalized. However, health officials say they don't know enough yet to confirm if omicron is weaker strain or if it’s any more contagious than other variants.