NEW YORK – The governor of New York has confirmed the state’s first five cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement during a news conference late Thursday. She confirmed four cases of Omicron in the New York City area, and one in Suffolk county.
Global health officials warn that the variant could be more transmissible than the previous variants of Coronavirus we’ve seen.
Hochul is trying to contain fears by reassuring New Yorkers that this will not be a repeat of March 2020. The state will not be shutting down, and for the time being no COVID protocols will be changed.
“This is not a cause for major alarm,” says Hochul. “We are not shutting down. We are not changing our protocols.”
The Omicron variant has a high number of mutations that suggest it could possibly spread more quickly than the delta variant, but scientists say it’s still unknown if Omicron is more dangerous than other versions of the virus.