Westchester County in New York is in a state of emergency after their active COVID-19 cases doubled over the past few weeks.
According to reports, there are no new mandates in the county. However, there will be some changes at the hospitals in the area to ensure that they can cater to COVID-19 patients.
County Exec. George Latimer, Gov. Kathy Hochul announcements
County Executive George Latimer announced that the county is in a state of emergency after the hospitalization number increased from 29 to 84 in the past month.
Latimer also urged those who haven't gotten vaccinated to consider getting the jab.
On the other hand, Hochul said that she would release a list of around 30 hospitals that would need to suspend elective surgeries due to capacity issues, according to New York CBS Local.
Last week, Hochul also announced a state of emergency in New York starting Dec. 3, even before Omicron was detected there.
According to reports, the state of emergency will pave the way for the state to acquire pandemic-fighting supplies, increase hospital capacity, and fight potential staffing shortages.
Omicron cases detected in New York
As of press writing, New York already detected 12 Omicron cases. The latest announcement was made on Monday by Hochul. The governor also said that none of the four Omicron cases had links to the recent anime festival in the state.
Three cases of Omicron in New York were announced last weekend, according to NBC New York.
New York is also the first state to announce vaccine mandates for private companies in the United States. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he was forced to announce the mandate due to the upcoming holiday gatherings.
De Blasio gave employees at private companies three weeks to adhere to the state's vaccine mandate.
"We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it's causing to all of us," de Blasio said via the New York Times.
Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi praised New York City for leading the nation regarding its decisive actions against COVID-19. He also said that Americans should be more relentless than the virus, according to NYC.gov.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says Omicron not severe
Despite all these measures, there's still no discounting how quickly Omicron mutates. But Dr. Anthony Fauci said that it doesn't look like there's a great degree of severity to Omicron. However, he still advised everyone to be careful regardless of whether Omicron is as severe or less severe than the Delta variant.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month. But recent reports claimed that it could've also started in the Netherlands. Several countries across the globe have already reported at least one Omicron case, and the numbers are still increasing.
The latest COVID-19 variant already affected countries like Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, France, and more.