NY confirms more cases of COVID variant

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ALBANY, NY – New York health officials have identified eight new cases of the more contagious COVID-19 strain that was first detected in the UK, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.
There are now 12 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant in New York City, according to the governor. The locations of the new cases were not disclosed.

“The British strain is factor X,” Cuomo said, warning that if the number of cases continues to rise, the state’s hospital systems could be overwhelmed. “We are balanced on the head of a pin, our hospitable capacity. ”

Nationwide, there are at least 80 known cases of the variant.

Health experts say the variant is not more dangerous than the original virus, but appears to be more contagious. Scientists have suggested that it could be up to 70% more infectious than the original COVID strain.

“This is what panics officials,” Cuomo said.

The CDC on Tuesday recommended states expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 65 and older.

The governor said New York immediately implemented the recommendation, but criticized the federal government for expanding the pool of eligible people without increasing the number of vaccine doses the state receives each week.

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