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New York reports five omicron cases; state of emergency goes into effect

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:29 AM EST
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NEW YORK (WCAX) - The omicron coronavirus variant has been discovered in at least five states, including New York. This all comes as New York’s state of emergency goes into effect Friday.

Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are figuring out how to move forward from here.

“There are five cases identified in the state of New York. We’re not having shutdowns. We’re not changing our protocols. We are continuing where we are but making sure that we work in concert together and encourage people to get tested, get tested often,” said Gov. Hochul.

The first case in New York involves a 67-year-old Suffolk County woman who tested positive five days after returning from a trip to South Africa late last month. Experts say she had mild symptoms of a headache and cough.

Governor Hochul says the five cases are unrelated. She encourages people to get vaccinated and wear a mask.

The goal of Friday’s state of emergency is to ease the burden on New York hospitals. The governor says keeping hospitals open to anyone who needs it is her top priority.

The state of emergency helps the hospitals free up space if they need it and can help local communities with resources they might need in the event of a surge.

Related stories:

Omicron coronavirus variant found in multiple US states

Hochul emergency order aims to boost hospital capacity

Hochul cites rising COVID rates, omicron for state of emergency

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