New COVID-19 sub-variants discovered, spread rapidly in central NY
New COVID-19 sub-variants discovered, spread rapidly in central NY

New COVID-19 sub-variants discovered, spread rapidly in central NY

Two new sub-variants of COVID-19, which are spreading rapidly in central New York, could complicate holiday dinners scheduled for this weekend.

The State Department of Health issued a warning just before Friday’s Easter dinners and ahead of Sunday’s Easter dinners. The department encouraged people to wear masks in indoor public spaces, gather outside if possible, and provide proper indoor ventilation.

Vulnerable people should consider wearing masks at all times, the department said, though that advice would be difficult to follow during family meals.

In central New York, the new sub-variants of omicron are spreading rapidly. The region has twice as many cases per 100,000 people as most regions of the state, with 53 cases per. 100,000.

The Capital Region has 23 cases per 100,000. That’s a 92 percent increase over two weeks ago.

But the regions are catching up with central New York. The Mohawk Valley is now at 42 cases per year. 100,000, an increase of 115 percent over two weeks ago.

At omicron’s peak in New York State in January, there were 461 cases per year. 100,000.

The State Wadsworth Center Laboratory recently identified two subvariants of omicron (BA.2), called BA 2.12 and BA.2.12.1. They are likely to contribute to the increase in cases in central New York and the surrounding regions, the state said.

Closer to home, things are also starting to rise. Coronavirus cases in the region peaked in mid-January before declining markedly over the following two months. But local cases in the counties that include the Capital Region of Denmark in state data show a modest but increasing number of positive tests since mid-March.

Albany County added 166 new cases Friday, the highest since Feb. 9 and a total of 406 since Tuesday. The county now has an average of 105 new cases a day, with 7.7 percent positive for testing.

There are now 29 county residents hospitalized, an increase of 16 since Tuesday.

The county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 105.1 from 84.4.

State surveillance of one of the county’s water treatment plants in Albany shows an increase in coronavirus detected in the wastewater. This monitoring has found an increase of 12 percent over the last two weeks and a significant or high probability of transmission in the community, corresponding to 50 or more cases per. 100,000 inhabitants over the last seven days.

As usual, the state encouraged people to stay home from worship services and family gatherings if they felt ill, as well as to test themselves at home. Early testing can lead to prompt treatment. The state now has significant supplies of two treatment regimens, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. Anyone testing positive in the home should call their doctor right away to find out if they are eligible for either treatment, the state said.

“New Yorkers are reminded that COVID treatment works best when taken within five days of the onset of symptoms. When symptoms do occur, do not wait to be tested and do not wait for a positive result by calling your health nurse, ”urged the health department.

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