Five cases of the new variant were confirmed. One was from Long Island, two in Queens, one in Brooklyn and the other in the New York City area, though officials are still determining where in the five boroughs.
The five cases appear unrelated, officials say. Mild symptoms were reported. Gov. Hochul says this isn't a cause of concern.
"We know is there is one way to address this. New Yorkers, get vaccinated get boosted and get ready! We do anticipate there will be more cases. This is not cause of alarm. This was foreseen. We knew it would come to New York State at some point. We are prepared for this," Hochul said while breaking the news.
However, officials are worried new cases of COVID keep rising across New York at alarming levels.
On Wednesday close to 10,000 new COVID cases were reported. On Thursday 11,300 new cases were reported.
New York hasn't seen a number that high since late January 2021, before the vaccine was widely available.
Over 3,090 New Yorkers are in the hospital, which is the highest number the Empire State has seen since April.
As of now, Gov. Hochul isn't planning on issuing any new COVID mandates. She believes issuing COVID mandates right now would be an overreaction.
However, she says she isn't against issuing new COVID rules if infections keep rising.
"We don’t need that one size fits all approach, but I’m prepared to make everything statewide is necessary," Hochul said Thursday.
Governor Hochul is also concerned nearly 20 percent of New Yorkers aren't fully vaccinated.
"I urge every New Yorker to take the necessary steps to keep themselves and their communities safe: get vaccinated, get boosted and wear a mask," Hochul said.
Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?
Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.
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