New NY health commissioner tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case

New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough case on Monday.

New York Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulAppeals judge temporarily reinstates New York's indoor mask mandate Judge strikes down New York's indoor mask mandate Young officer slain in Harlem joined to help 'chaotic city' MORE (D) announced Bassett’s positive test during a news conference on Monday. Bassett is fully vaccinated, has received a booster shot and was “feeling fine” following her test, according to Hochul.

The health commissioner took a rapid test before coming into contact with Hochul, which is in accordance with protocol.


Hochul said Bassett, who assumed office on Dec. 1, would be taking another PCR test to confirm the positive result. Bassett left the office immediately after receiving a positive result, according to the governor.

Hochul said “there’s no better time” for New Yorkers to be vaccinated, receive a booster shot and wear a mask, noting that based on early trends, symptoms in breakthrough cases “will not be very serious.”

The Empire State is currently seeing a surge in cases driven in part by the highly mutated omicron variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Monday that the omicron variant accounts for the majority of cases in the U.S., with 73.2 percent of infections linking back to the strain.

New York has shattered its daily case record a number of times in recent days, as the virus continues to spread.

The CDC says that while COVID-19 breakthrough cases are expected, fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for the virus are less likely to develop serious illness compared to people who have not been inoculated.