A Variant of the Variant – Newest COVID Strains Are in Central New York
You can call it a variant strain of the previous variant strain which was also a spinoff of the previous strain. Whether that's how you refer to the latest evolution of COVID-19, or if you have a more 'official' label, like BA 2.12 or the other strain in lineage, BA.2.12.1, it's going around in Central New York.
These are the newest sub-lineage of the BA.2 strain - which was originally by some the stealth variant of Omicron. BA.2 was said to be near twice as contagious as Omicron.
The State Department of Health said after investigating 'higher than average' case totals in the region, ''Based on newly available data in the public database, GISAID, as well as additional data submitted directly to the Wadsworth Center from sequencing laboratories in New York, State health officials have determined that these highly contagious new variants are likely contributing to the rising cases."
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said in a COVID-9 news briefing Wednesday that state officials had confirmed to him the presence of the BA.2.12 strain.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its COVID-19 Community Levels and labeled Onondaga, Oswego, and Cayuga counties in the "high risk" category, recommending the use of masks indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.
"The good news is we have tools to address this. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves and their families by getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose when eligible, getting a test following exposure or when developing symptoms, staying home and isolating when symptomatic, talking to your healthcare provider about treatment if you do test positive, and recommend wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status in public indoor places. Treatment is widely available and works best if taken within five days of symptom onset, so get tested quickly after symptoms arise," said NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett in a news release on the higher than average cases totals.
The Onondaga County COVID Tracker's latest number posted was from Monday of this week, finding a positivity rate of 28.5% of more than 1,300 tests. The new case total for the day was 486 (including at-home positive test results reported to state officials), with the county also adding 15 new hospital admissions.
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