State Watch

Hochul warns of COVID spike in New York, but ‘not panicking’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D)
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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Wednesday said that the state was seeing rising COVID-19 cases but added that there was no reason for New Yorkers to panic.

“We’ve had a rising tide of cases. My health department has been embedded in constant communication with our local health departments here,” Hochul said at a press conference.

“We’re taking this very seriously,” the governor added. “You don’t know, every single variant that comes, is it going to be worse than the last one?”

Hochul noted the increase is being driven by the recently detected subvariants of the virus, known as BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1. “But we have no evidence that these variants are more likely to have severe impacts than other subvariants,” she said. 

“We’re not panicking about this. We’re not changing, but we also want to make sure we are smart about this,” Hochul said, noting that she was watching the numbers especially closely after the omicron spike seen in December and January. 

The governor also stressed the importance of at-home testing as a way to contain the spread of the virus, while also acknowledging that those tests make the state’s data and numbers somewhat more limited.

“We are going to continue providing the test kits which is good, but we also know we don’t have a clear picture of exactly what is going on,” she said.

As of Tuesday, New York’s Department of Health reported 7,862 positive COVID-19 test results, far below the state’s more recent peak in January, when more than 90,000 positive tests a day were recorded amid the spread of the initial omicron variant. 

Tags COVID-19 cases kathy hochul Kathy Hochul New York
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