More Omicrons detected in the US as hospitals stress over virus surge

New York announced three more cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the state’s number of cases linked to the new variant to eight.

“The omicron variation is already here, and as expected, we are seeing the beginnings of widespread community spread,” said State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett in a statement. press report.

The number of states finding the variant is also growing, with authorities in New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reporting their first confirmed cases on Friday and Missouri reporting its first presumptive case. their ancestors.

Variants have also been detected in Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Utah.

In New York, seven cases were found in New York City, which was once the global epicenter of the pandemic, and the other in Suffolk County.

The arrival of Omicron comes as hospitals across the state continue to be strained by a rising number of coronavirus infections, most of which stem from the delta variant, along with staffing shortages.

The number of people testing positive for the virus statewide each day has doubled in the past 30 days.

In recent days, Governor Kathy Hochul has authorized the Ministry of Health to limit non-essential, non-emergency procedures at hospitals with nearly empty beds and deploy National Guard teams to relieve staff. Medical staff at facilities deal with staffing and growth issues.

Fifteen members of the National Guard arrived at Monroe Community Hospital in Rochester on Saturday, WROC reported. Lieutenant Colonel Brian Benjamin said Wednesday the state will send 13 National Guard teams to the western borough of New York, where County Executive Adam Bello has declared a state of emergency.

Hochul said the Omicron cases in New York so far do not appear to be related. One of the known cases involved a man from Minnesota who was among 50,000 people who attended a three-day anime festival in New York City in November. Authorities have appealed. anyone attending the conference get tested for COVID-19 and wear a mask in public.

Much remains unknown about Omicron, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, whether it could prevent a vaccine, and whether it leaves people sick disease as the original strain or not.

A woman who recently traveled from South Africa became the first confirmed case in New Jersey and Georgia after seeking care for moderate symptoms in the emergency room. A fully vaccinated Georgia resident has been in her state for two days from arriving in South Africa and on to New Jersey, health officials said. in both states said.

Maryland’s first three cases of the Omicron variant were found in the Baltimore metropolitan area and included two people in the same household, authorities said. One of them is a person who recently traveled to South Africa. The third case, discovered in an immunized person with no recent travel history, was unrelated.

In Pennsylvania, a man in his 30s from Philadelphia became that state’s first case. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health did not immediately say whether the man had been vaccinated against COVID-19 or if he had traveled.

Missouri’s first presumptive case involves a person who recently traveled within the United States, according to state health officials, who did not provide further details about the case. residents of St. Louis. Health Department of St. Louis said it was awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Case numbers in California, Nebraska and Colorado rose on Friday.

The five Northern California cases are linked to a Wisconsin wedding late last month, public health officials said. One of these people recently returned from international travel, according to the Alameda County Department of Public Health.

Health officials have confirmed six new cases of this variant in southeastern Nebraska. State health officials say the state’s first case can be traced back to one in six people who recently traveled to Nigeria and returned on Nov.

Colorado detected the state’s second case of the Omicron variant just a day after the state’s first confirmed case, officials said Friday.

“We know the Omicron variant is coming and we hope to see more cases. But let me be clear: We are defenseless,” Hochul said. “We have the tools to help stop the spread of this deadly virus: Get vaccinated, give booster shots, and wear masks.”


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