East Farmingdale, NY- Health experts warned that it was only a matter of time until the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was discovered in New York and on Thursday, it was finally confirmed- the variant first identified in South Africa in late November, had infected five people in the New York Metropolitan area. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, described one of the five New Yorkers as a 67-year-old woman from Suffolk County who had recently traveled to South Africa. Officials say the Suffolk County woman was asymptomatic while traveling but became symptomatic after returning to Long Island and tested positive. The remaining four cases are as follows; two cases in Queens, one case in Brooklyn and the fourth case, residence is still being determined. Additionally a Minnesota man who traveled to New York in November to attend an anime convention at the Javits Center on November 22, also tested positive for the Omicron variant. Officials say they have the names of the people who attended the convention at Javits and will be reaching out to those individuals to get tested.
Governor Kathy Hochul “As I’ve said since we first became aware of the emergence of the Omicron variant and said earlier today, it was only a matter of time before it was detected here in New York State,” Governor Hochul said. “I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and his team for working closely with us in this effort to detect the Omicron variant and for our joint pandemic efforts. I also want all New Yorkers to know that we are prepared for this and will continue to communicate openly with New Yorkers as we work closely with our partners at the national, state and local level. Thanks to the life-saving tools at our disposal, like vaccines and boosters, we have the tools in our arsenal to fight this pandemic – including the Delta and Omicron variants. I urge every New Yorker to take the necessary steps to keep themselves and their communities safe: get vaccinated, get boosted and wear a mask.”
More information on the Omicron COVID-19 variant in New York can be found at COVID-19 Variant Page.
Photo: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Hochul hold a joint press conference to update New Yorkers on the Omicron variant. City Hall, Thursday, December 2, 2021. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.