Omicron in the US: More Cases in NYC
NEW YORK – Multiple variant cases of the Omicron coronavirus have been detected in New York, health officials said on Thursday, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and had tested positive for this variant when he returned home to Minnesota.
In addition to the person who got vaccinated against COVID-19, government officials said tests showed five other people recently infected with the virus had this variant. They include one person in the city’s Long Island suburb who had recently been to South Africa, Brooklyn and Queens residents and another case possibly related to travel. At least one person has received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but officials do not have details on the immunization status of the other four cases.
Governor Kathy Hochul at a news conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that officials are still gathering details of the incidents but “there is no cause for alarm.”
“We just want to make sure that the public knows about the information when we receive it,” she said.
De Blasio said the geographic spread of positive tests indicates the variant is experiencing “community transmission” in the city and is not linked to any events.
“We have to assume there’s a lot more behind that and it’s been here for a significant amount of time,” he said.
The news comes a day after the United States announced the first known case of the variant was detected in California, in a person who had recently traveled to South Africa.
Officials reported another case Thursday in a Colorado woman who recently traveled to southern Africa.
The Anime NYC 2021 convention drew about 50,000 people, according to event organizers, and attendees were required to wear a mask and present proof of at least one injection, according to event organizers. dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The man who attended the event had not traveled outside of the US and began experiencing symptoms the day after the conference, which Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said it was “probably very likely”, man with COVID-19 in New York City. convention, but officials don’t know for sure.
Officials in New York said they were working to track attendees of the conference, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as New York City prepares to host the Thanksgiving Day Parade Macy’s every year and prepare for the return crowds once the US opens its doors to vaccinated international tourists.
Officials in the city of 8.8 million people said they expected it to be only a matter of time before the new variant was reported in the city. City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi urged those attending the event to get tested.
“This is not just about people who are traveling to southern Africa or to other parts of the world where Omicron has been identified,” Chokshi said.
The Minnesota man started showing mild symptoms on Nov. 22. He received the vaccine and booster shot in early November, according to health officials in his home state. Officials said he sought to be tested for COVID-19 on November 24 and his symptoms had subsided.
November 22 is the same day the person infected in the California case returned to the US from South Africa. The traveler from California, who was vaccinated, developed mild symptoms and tested positive on Monday.
Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, whether it makes people worse, and whether it makes people sick. interfere with the vaccine.
Omicron is classified by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern” as scientists study it to determine how it compares with the dominant delta variant in terms of transmission and levels of disease. severity. Scientists are also studying the extent to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against Omicron.
Scientists in South Africa first reported on it, but the samples came from several countries in southern Africa. And health officials in the Netherlands now say it was found there before it was discovered in South Africa.
Professor Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, said: “As the comfort of air travel returns, it’s inevitable that new variations like the Omicron are inevitable. will spread from country to country and state to state.
“We shouldn’t panic, but we should worry,” she said.
Hochul said the case involving the Minnesota traveler highlights the need for all eligible people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a booster shot if they haven’t already.
The Democrats said: “There is a way to solve this – New Yorkers, get vaccinated, stay healthy and get ready.