The United States is discovering more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. New York announced three more cases of omicron on Saturday, bringing the state’s total number of infections to eight.
“The Omicron variant is here and as expected we are seeing the beginning of its spread in the community,” Commissioner for Health Mary Bassett said in a statement.
The number of states where the new variant was detected also increased, including Massachusetts, which announced its first cases on Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first infections. Missouri reported a case Friday that it believes may be its first infection.
The variant has already been detected in Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Utah as well.
In New York, seven of the cases correspond to New York City – the global epicenter of the epidemic for some time – and the other to Suffolk County.
Omicron’s arrival occurs as government hospitals continue to be understaffed and workload increases due to the increase in coronavirus cases, and most of the cases are delta.
The number of people testing positive on daily diagnostic tests in the state has doubled in the past 30 days.
Governor Kathy Hochul has authorized the Ministry of Health in recent days to restrict unnecessary or urgent measures in hospitals, which are about to run out of beds, and has deployed National Guard teams to relieve health workers in understaffed clinics and stay more in the hospital.
Fifteen members of the National Guard have arrived at Monroe Community Hospital in Rochester, according to WROC.
On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin announced that the state would send 13 teams of National Guard to New York County, in the west, whose local chief executive, Adam Bello, has declared a state of emergency.
Hochhol reports that New York’s omicron cases appear to be unrelated to one another.
One of the injured is a Minnesota man who attended a three-day animation conference in November in New York City. Authorities required those who attended that conference to take a diagnostic test and to wear a mask in public.
Many of the properties of Omicron remain unknown, including whether it is more contagious – as some health authorities suspect – and whether it is not as susceptible to current vaccines, and whether it makes people sick like the original variant.
“Coffee fanatic. Gamer. Award-winning zombie lover. Student. Hardcore internet advocate. Twitter guru. Subtly charming bacon nerd. Thinker.”