Monday, December 6, 2021

Governor Hochul Announces Four More Confirmed COVID-19 Omicron Variant Cases Detected in New York State for a Total of 12 Known Cases

 Clinical research for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Wadsworth Laboratory

Reminds New Yorkers to Get Vaccinated, Get Boosted and Wear a Mask

Future Omicron Updates to be Included in Governor's Daily COVID-19 Update Press Release

 Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the detection of four more confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in New York State, for a total of 12 confirmed cases. The cases have been confirmed through sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center. Two of the new cases are from Suffolk County and two are from Oneida County.

"Four more cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant were just identified in New York State. With the new variant circulating, the best way to stay safe and prevent serious illness during the holiday season is by getting vaccinated or a booster shot," Governor Hochul said. "With more friends and family gathering indoors this time of year, we have the tools to fight this pandemic and you can protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to get the shot, and mask up. We will continue to work with local leaders to provide the latest updates and make sure they have what they need to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus."

While none of these cases are related to the recent Anime convention at the Javits Center, the Department still urges anyone who attended to get tested for COVID-19. 

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "While public health experts are still learning more about this new variant, we continue to encourage all New Yorkers to take precautions against COVID-19. Get vaccinated, get a booster if you are already fully vaccinated, and continue to wear your mask."

Starting on Tuesday, December 7, all further Omicron updates will be included in the Governor's daily COVID-19 progress update press release. 

The New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center Laboratory continues to actively monitor COVID-19 virus samples selected throughout the State to compare sequences and identify circulating and new variants, including Omicron.

The Department also monitors all data submitted to public sequence databases by the many other sequencing laboratories throughout New York State and across the US, contributing to a robust and collaborative surveillance program for variant analysis. The Wadsworth Center is currently sequencing COVID-19 virus specimens with a capacity up to approximately 100 per day. Specimens are selected at random from throughout the state to provide surveillance across all geographic locations and data analyzed across the entire sequence of the virus. The analyses include assessment for mutations that indicate variants of concern and variants of interest.

Other laboratories in New York State are conducting similar work. These results from Wadsworth and other laboratories are uploaded into public databases, primarily GISAID. From this database, sequence data from all contributors can be downloaded and analyzed for a more complete picture of virus trends across the state and the distribution of variants from these analyses summarized over time. The State has made this data available for all New Yorkers at their COVID-19 Variant Page.

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