‘There will be more cases’: 5 omicron cases confirmed in NY; state braces for more
Five cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant have been detected in New York after the first case in the U.S. was found in California.
More states are starting to report cases as well. Health officials say this is evidence of community spread and they expect to see more in the coming days.
Four of the New York omicron variant cases are in New York City and one was on Long Island. All cases are said to be mild and everyone recovered at home.
One of the cases is a 67-year-old woman, who had at least one COVID-19 shot and had just returned from South Africa.
The vaccination status of the other four is unknown.
There was also a traveler from Minnesota who tested positive for the variant after attending a convention at the Javits Center in Manhattan with around 50,000 people two weeks ago. That person was reported to have mild symptoms.
Health officials say while much isn’t known about the strain, it's important not to panic because the U.S. is much better equipped to fight the virus than it was just a few months ago.
"We suspect there will be more cases emerging and the best thing that everyone can do is realize we're not defenseless against this variant,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul.
As scientists continue to study the omicron variant, health officials are urging people to get fully vaccinated and boosted.
Hochul says New York reported 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, which is the highest since January.