New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state’s health department is “closely monitoring” the emergence of the virus – although it has yet to be spotted in the United States. And Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams have signaled that they are not letting their guard down either, according to the Daily News.
The strain, which carries around 50 mutations, was first identified in South Africa earlier this week and was quickly labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. The WHO on Friday named the variant omicron and warned that preliminary data suggested it had greater potential for evading immunity than previous variants.
Already, the variant has triggered travel bans from southern Africa to many parts of Europe. The United States is also implementing its own ban, which will not come into effect until Monday.
It’s still unclear exactly how dangerous Omicron is to New Yorkers – vaccinated or not – but Hochul again urged everyone to double the precautionary measures.
“I want to remind New Yorkers to continue to take the precautionary measures we know to reduce the spread of this deadly virus: wear a mask in indoor public places, use good hand hygiene, get tested and stay at home in case of illness, she said. the vaccine also remains one of our greatest weapons in the fight against the pandemic, and this news further underscores the need for each of us to be vaccinated and to receive the booster if you are fully vaccinated ”