NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the state has confirmed five cases of the omicron variant.
The governor made the announcement in a tweet Thursday evening and said "This is not cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread."
New York State has confirmed five cases of the omicron variant.— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 2, 2021
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.
Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask.
These confirmed cases came hours after Hochul announced a Minnesota resident who was recently in New York City tested positive for the variant. She said the Minnesota resident was at a conference at the Javits Center, is fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms. All of those in attendance at the conference were required to be vaccinated and officials are contact tracing.
A Minnesota resident who was recently in New York City has tested positive for the Omicron variant and has mild symptoms. I am holding a press conference at 11am to address this and our ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic. https://t.co/G4JsSqUBvD https://t.co/7LcTHuCbs2— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 2, 2021
The governor said the current five cases include a woman from Suffolk County who recently traveled to South Africa, two people from Queens, a person from Brooklyn and another individual from the New York City area who recently traveled.
At this time, the state says they all cases are believed to be unrelated.
During her COVID-19 briefing Thursday morning, Hochul said cases of the variant are not unexpected and pointed to the executive order announced on November 26 aimed at boosting hospital capacity. She continued on to say New Yorkers should get vaccinated, get booster shots and continue to wear a mask when in public.
"We've been ready. We're prepared. We're not sounding the alarms. We're not overreacting to this, but I want New Yorkers to have the confidence to know that we are ready to deal with this," Hochul said early Thursday.