New York has started putting new measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the state.

According to reports, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency that will go into effect starting Dec. 3. The state is anticipating a possible increase in the number of active cases due to the winter season.

The newest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has not yet been detected in New York or any part of the United States. But Hochul wants locals to be prepared for what is to come.

New York's state of emergency aimed at helping residents, hospitals

According to NBC New York, the state of emergency declaration will allow the state to acquire pandemic-fighting supplies, increase hospital capacity, and fight potential staffing shortages. The Health Department will also limit Non-essential and non-urgent procedures at hospitals.

The state said that limited capacity would be defined as below 10 percent staffed bed capacity or determined by the Department of Health based on regional and health care utilization factors.

New protocols that will be imposed on Friday will be re-assessed on Jan. 15.

"We've taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it's coming," Hochul said via Record Online.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul urges New Yorkers to get vaccinated

Hochul is also urging New York residents to get vaccinated. As of press writing, less than 10 percent of adults in the state have not received a single dose.

The governor also stressed that the COVID-19 vaccine is still the greatest weapon in fighting the pandemic. Hochul also reminded those who have already been vaccinated to get their booster on time.

There is an ongoing concern in the United States regarding the new COVID-19 variant after being first detected in Botswana on Nov. 11. Omicron has also been detected in other parts of the world, including Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Belgium.

The United Kingdom has started banning flights from six South African cities. And more drastic measures will once again be imposed in the island country.

UK PM Boris Johnson announces new measures amid Omicron

According to Financial Times, these measures include taking a PCR test within two days of their arrival in the United Kingdom. Travelers still need to self-isolate until they receive their negative test results.

A person who comes into contact with someone with a suspected case of Omicron needs to isolate for ten days regardless of their vaccination status.

The same measures have not yet been imposed in the United States because the variant still hasn't been detected in the country. But Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans should keep their guards up over the possibility of Omicron entering the United States because it's better to be prepared.

Fauci also said that Omicron would be more transmissible compared to the previous COVID-19 variants, according to the Huffington Post.

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