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Health officials urge New Yorkers to stay ahead of BA.2 COVID variant

Health officials are urging New Yorkers to remain vigilant as the new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant, BA.2, makes its way throughout the boroughs.

News 12 Staff

Mar 22, 2022, 10:19 AM

Updated 823 days ago

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Health officials are urging New Yorkers to remain vigilant as the new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant, BA.2, makes its way throughout the boroughs.
This new variant comes just months after the Omicron surge. While the BA.2 variant is on the rise, Gov. Kathy Hochul says it isn't anything to worry about just yet. The current case load in the city is around 11 cases per 100,000, which is up 30% since last week. The BA. 2 variant accounts for 42% of those cases.
The state's overall positivity rate is around 2%, which is down from 23% in January. Hochul says the state is not close to a surge because the case count remains low.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the BA.2 variant is 50% to 60% more transmissible than Omicron, which means that over time it could take over as the more dominant variant. Doctors say that while this variant is extremely contagious, the severity of the illness is low. The BA.2 variant causes an infection in the upper lungs, a symptom that doctors say the vaccine can fight off.
Even though two years have passed since the start of the pandemic, health officials say it isn't time to claim victory just yet. They say the easiest way to prevent another outbreak is to continue to get people vaccinated and boosted.


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