More Omicron cases found in NY City as hospitals deal with the Delta spike


New York City
A person takes COVID-19 test at mobile testing site near Grand Central Terminal on December 3, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

On Saturday, New York announced three additional cases of the coronavirus's Omicron variety, bringing the state's total to eight.

"The Omicron variant has arrived, and as expected, we are witnessing the start of community spread," state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett stated in a news statement.

The number of US states identifying the variation is also increasing. Massachusetts and Washington state revealed their first instances on Saturday, after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland confirmed their first cases. Missouri reported its first suspected case of the disease on Friday.

Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Utah have also discovered the variation.

Seven of the cases were discovered in New York City, which was formerly the pandemic's worldwide epicenter, and one in Suffolk County.

Omicron's arrival comes as hospitals across the state continue to struggle with an increase in coronavirus cases, the majority of which are connected to the Delta type, as well as staffing shortages.

Each day, the number of persons testing positive for the virus has doubled statewide in the last 30 days.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York has directed the Health Department to restrict unnecessary, non-emergency treatments at hospitals on the verge of running out of beds and deploy National Guard teams to relieve healthcare employees at facilities facing staffing shortages and swelling caseloads.

On Saturday, WROC reported that fifteen soldiers of the National Guard arrived at Monroe Community Hospital in Rochester. Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin announced Wednesday that the state would send 13 National Guard teams to the county in western New York, where County Executive Adam Bello has declared a state of emergency.

Thus far, Hochul added, the New York Omicron cases appear unrelated. One of the reported instances involves a man from Minnesota who was one of 50,000 attendees at a three-day anime festival in November in New York City. Authorities have recommended attendees get tested for COVID-19 and wear a mask in public.

Much about Omicron remains unknown, including if it is more contagious than the original strain, as some health authorities think, whether it can evade immunizations and whether it causes individuals to become as ill as the original strain.

Three cases of the Omicron variant were verified in Washington state on Saturday — one in Thurston, Pierce, and King counties, state health authorities said. They highlighted that the inquiry is still in its infancy and that specifics about the patients' travel histories were unknown. The patients are two males and a woman ranging in age from 20 to 39 years.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health stated Saturday that a lady in her twenties who had gone out of state is the state's first documented case of the variation. A Middlesex County native, the anonymous woman is wholly vaccinated and has only suffered moderate symptoms.

After seeking care at an emergency department for mild symptoms, a woman who traveled from South Africa became the state's first verified case in both New Jersey and Georgia. According to health officials in both states, the fully vaccinated Georgia citizen stayed in her home state for two days before flying to New Jersey.

Maryland's first three instances of the Omicron strain were discovered in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Two of the cases involved members of the same household, and one of the two was a previously vaccinated individual who had just visited South Africa. The third case, discovered in a previously vaccinated individual with no recent travel history, is unrelated.

In Pennsylvania, the state's first case included a guy in his 30s from Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the guy had been vaccinated against COVID-19 or had traveled.

According to state health officials, Missouri's supposed first case concerns someone who recently traveled within the United States but did not disclose additional information about the St. Louis resident. The St. Louis Health Department stated that it was awaiting confirmation from the CDC.

Friday, case counts increased in California, Nebraska, and Colorado.

Public health officials said that five cases in Northern California had been linked to a late-last-month wedding in Wisconsin. According to the Alameda County Department of Public Health, one of the victims had recently returned from an international trip.

According to health officials, six additional cases of the variation have been identified in southeastern Nebraska. State health experts believe the state's first incidence was likely caused by one of the six individuals who traveled to Nigeria lately and returned on November 23.

Colorado officials verified the state's second confirmed case of the Omicron strain on Friday, only one day after the state's first confirmed case.

"We anticipated the Omicron variation and anticipate seeing additional occurrences. However, let me state unequivocally: We are not vulnerable," Hochul stated. "We have the tools necessary to help prevent the spread of this lethal virus: get vaccinated, get a booster shot, and wear a mask."

Publish : 2021-12-05 11:36:00

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