Five cases of the omicron variant have been confirmed in New York, including one in Suffolk County, Governor Kathy Hochul announced tonight.
Two cases were confirmed in Queens, one in Brooklyn and one in Suffolk County. The county of the fifth case is not currently known.
The case in Suffolk County was identified in a 67-year-old Suffolk woman, who returned from South Africa and tested negative upon arrival on Nov. 25. She then tested positive on Nov. 30.
She is currently isolating with mild symptoms, including a headache and a cough, Hochul said.
The woman was vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Hochul said. It is currently unknown if the woman had also received a second or third dose of the vaccine. The vaccination status of the other four cases is also currently unknown.
These five cases are in addition to the case reported earlier today, in a Minnesota man who traveled to New York City for an anime convention between Nov. 19 and 21. In that case, the man began experiencing mild symptoms on Nov. 22 after he returned to Minnesota, tested positive Nov. 24 and has since recovered.
“We’re assuming in New York City there’s community spread,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a joint press conference with Hochul tonight. “We see a handful of cases and we’ve got to assume there are more cases and it’s been here a substantial amount of time,” de Blasio said.
“We’re providing information as we learn it so people can take precautions and if they believe they’ve been exposed or want to take a test, just to be sure,” Hochul said.
The news of confirmation of the new variant in New York comes as New York’s case numbers continue to climb. The State Department of Health today reported 11,300 new confirmed cases yesterday, the highest single-day number since January. Cases in Suffolk County have also been sharply increasing, with 1,079 new cases reported yesterday, more than double the average daily cases reported last week.
Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.