New York officials are very worried about the emergence of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant and are taking action.
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On Sunday, Gov. Kathy Hochul updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19. 4.23 percent of all tests came back positive in the previous 24 hours. The 7-day positivity rate is also 4.05 percent.
"We're entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic where it's more important than ever for every eligible New Yorker to get vaccinated," Governor Hochul said. "Cases are rising throughout New York State, and the new Omnicron variant poses a very real threat to the progress we've made."
Hochul confirmed 90.3 percent of all New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least one vaccine while 80.5 percent have completed their vaccine series. 77.5 percent of all eligible New Yorkers have at least one vaccine dose.
As part of ongoing efforts to ramp up booster distribution, Governor Hochul is now requiring New York State nursing home and adult care facility operators and administrators to make booster doses available to all of their residents.
"With the emergence of the Omicron variant abroad and warning signs of spikes in cases this winter, the need for basic COVID safety procedures here in New York is more important than ever," Hochul added. "If you've been waiting to get vaccinated, there's no better time to get your first shot. If you're eligible to get your booster, get it as soon as possible."
Hochul reported 31 more New Yorkers died from COVID. 399 New Yorkers were admitted to the hospital. 2,756 New Yorkers are currently hospitalized with COVID with 538 in ICU and 298 in ICU with intubation.
"With the emergence of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, it is crucial that we continue to use the tools that we know help prevent the spread of this deadly virus: wear masks indoors, wash our hands, and utilize the greatest weapon we have to keep ourselves safe - the vaccine," Hochul said.
On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul says with the Omicron variant just across the bridge in Ontario, it's not a question of if it comes to New York, but when.
In a Monday morning tweet, Hochul urged all New Yorkers to get vaccinated, especially those in Western New York.
Some regions in New York are reporting significantly higher COVID numbers. Below is each region's updated 7-day average percentage of positive test results:
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