New York Reports 5 Cases Of Omicron COVID-19 Variant

New York state has confirmed five cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday.

“Let me be clear: This is not cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread,” Hochul said on Twitter.

She called on New Yorkers to get the vaccine and booster shots as well as to wear masks.

The new cases came hours after two other omicron cases were confirmed — one in Minnesota and one in Colorado.

At a press briefing, Hocul said the first case was a 67-year-old woman in Suffolk County who had been in South Africa.

Two cases are from Queens and one from Brooklyn and the fifth one is from an unidentified borough.

The US identified its first case of the omicron variant in the state of California on Wednesday. The patient, a San Francisco resident, returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29.

President Joe Biden said Monday that the US will see cases of the omicron variant “sooner or later,” but that is no reason to panic.

South African scientists announced on Nov. 24 that they had discovered the variant, which has several mutations. Cases of the variant have since been found in a number of Western countries.

Last Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the strain a “variant of concern.”

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