De Blasio: Assume omicron is in New York City
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said in a statement on Thursday that residents should assume that the omicron variant of the coronavirus is in the city given that an identified case in Minnesota was “associated with travel to a conference” in the city.
“We are aware of a case of the Omicron variant identified in Minnesota that is associated with travel to a conference in New York City, and we should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” de Blasio said.
“We are working closely with the State and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], as well as the Javits Center’s event organizers, and our Test and Trace Corps will be contacting conference attendees. This conference required masks and complied with our Key2NYC requirement to mandate vaccination,” the New York City mayor added.
De Blasio said that anyone who had attended the event, Anime NYC, should be taking precautions and get tested immediately, including those who might not have symptoms.
The New York City mayor’s comments come as two cases of omicron have been detected in the United States — one in California and one in Minnesota.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that the person who tested positive in California had just returned from South Africa and had been fully vaccinated. The agency noted that the person had mild symptoms.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported on Thursday that the individual who traveled back to the state had mild symptoms and was a vaccinated adult male. The department noted that he just recently went to a New York City anime convention.
The news comes as countries are grappling with how to contain the newly detected omicron variant. Some countries have already put travel restrictions in place to curb further spread, though some nations and health officials have criticized the move.
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