The Governor of New York state, Kathy Hochul (pictured), has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency, which won’t be lifted until at least January 15th. Fears over the new Omicron variant have persuaded the Governor to act, with Hochul tweeting that: “While the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming.” The Independent has more.
The state of New York has declared a new public emergency over the emerging Omicron variant of Covid, warning New Yorkers: “It’s coming.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Friday lasting until at least January 15th that branded the state’s rates of Covid-transmission as a disaster requiring urgent aid to local governments.
The Omicron variant has alarmed health officials since its discovery in Botswana earlier this month, spreading rapidly through South Africa and into Europe and Asia.
Scientists fear it could become a so-called ‘escape variant’ that is resistant to current Covid vaccines, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a ‘variant of concern’.
President Joe Biden has imposed new travel restrictions on Botswana, South Africa and six other sub-Saharan African countries, also urging Americans to get their vaccines and booster shots. As of Friday, the variant has not been spotted in the U.S.
Hochul said: “We continue to see warning signs of spikes in Covid this winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming.
“Today I signed an executive order to help boost hospital capacity ahead of potential spikes. Through this action, we will also be able to acquire critical supplies more quickly to combat the pandemic.
“I urge New Yorkers to take advantage of our greatest weapon in the pandemic: the vaccine. Get vaccinated and get the booster as soon as you are able.”
Worth reading in full.