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NY health officials: No need for alarm when it comes to BA.2, but stay vigilant

Gov. Kathy Hochul and state health officials provided an update Monday on where the state stands in the fight against COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Mar 21, 2022, 9:15 PM

Updated 819 days ago

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Gov. Kathy Hochul and state health officials provided an update Monday on where the state stands in the fight against COVID-19. 
It comes as a new variant spreads around the world. All eyes are on BA.2, which has been a dominant strain since February. Although cases are on the rise, the governor says she is not sounding the alarm. 
Gov. Hochul is encouraging people to continue getting boosted and tested if they have symptoms. She says the current caseload in the city is sitting around 11 cases per 100,000 – up 30% since last week, with 42% of all cases stemming from the new variant. 
Gov, Hochul says the current numbers are not indicative of a steep surge. The state's overall positivity rate is around 2%, which is a huge decrease since January when it was 23%. 
State health officials say this new BA.2 variant does not appear to be spreading as rapidly in the United States, compared to other countries.
"We have not seen this rate of growth in the dominance that we've seen in the UK. BA.2 is more transmissible than the original variant, but it does not appear [to cause] more severe illness and it doesn't appear to have more ability to evade the vaccination,” said state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. 
Now, the governor and state health officials say the focus is on getting New Yorkers to take advantage of the treatment options out there. They are encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested and consult with their doctor if necessary to keep case counts from increasing.


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