(Bloomberg) -- A day after declaring a state of emergency for New York, Governor Kathy Hochul is ordering nursing homes and adult-care facilities to make boosters available to all residents after hospitalizations across the state jumped 20% in the past week.
The governor on Saturday reported 2,696 people in hospitals because of the virus, up from 2,249 a week earlier.
Several parts of the state are reporting high positivity rates: 10.2% in western New York; 9.4% in the Finger Lakes; and 9.3% in Mohawk Valley. New York City’s rate, which is the state’s lowest, edged up to 1.69% from 1.65% overnight.
“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 said in a statement.
Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told NBC’s “Weekend Today” Saturday that the omicron variant may well already have arrived in the U.S. and that “almost invariably ultimately is going to go essentially all over.”
Biden on Friday imposed fresh travel restrictions on nations in southern Africa, where the variant was first detected, joining efforts by other countries to try and slow the spread of a potentially potent new variant.
“While the new omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming,” Hochul said Friday as she announced steps to prepare for possible hospital capacity and staffing shortages. She signed an executive order allowing state health officials to limit non-essential hospital procedures in facilities that have less than 10% staffed bed capacity.
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