ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN)- Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state isn’t sounding the alarm on the new omicron variant but will be keeping COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination centers open as a precaution. She said the state is watching COVID numbers carefully, which remain low. 

Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said now is the time for people to get a booster shot and encouraged parents to get kids vaccinated. She also said a significant spike in cases from ba.2 is not expected in New York. 

The Governor has proposed to rebuild the Wadsworth Center in Albany. She said the state needs to build back its health care infrastructure better so the state can be better ready for public health emergencies. Rebuilding of the state’s public health laboratory is part of Gov. Hochul’s plan announced in her State of the State address on January, 5.  

A slight uptick in the seven-day average of COVID cases is being seen in New York City. However, the percentage is far lower than seen at the beginning of the year.

In addition to her proposal to rebuild the Wadsworth Center, Gov. Hochul said she is also focusing on rebuilding the health care workforce depleted during COVID. She wants to grow health care workers by 20%.