Gov. Hochul says plans are being developed to combat a winter COVID surge

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Thursday afternoon, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she is worried about the state’s current coronavirus rates, calling it “an alarm going off”. This comes as the state confirms at least 20 Omicron variant cases and some hospitals are at the brink of full capacity.

“I want everyone to know we are prepared for this. We are working very hard to ensure we have all the tools at our disposal that I have mentioned,” Gov. Hochul said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Doctor James Saperstone, a pediatrician with Community Care Physicians says the main way to combat a winter surge is by getting vaccinated. “This all goes away if people just get their jabs, their shots.” 

New York State has an average of around 49.83 cases per 100,000 on a seven day average. That number is up from 34 per 100,000 just two weeks ago. Due to the number of rising cases, 37 New York hospitals will limit non-emergency procedures because of restricted capacity.

“Hospitalizations, you know this is what keeps me up at night,” says Gov. Hochul, “we continue to see an uptick in hospitalizations. And this is a trend that you can draw a direct correlation between vaccination rates in an area and the number of hospitalizations.”

Dr. Saperstone says one cause for a rise in cases each winter is because people are spending more time inside with others. “We’re seeing a rise in the number of cases simply because it’s the winter and simply because we are all inside and simply because school has started. So, this is not something that is surprising.”

Despite rising cases and hospitalizations, Governor Hochul says the state will continue to allow different locales to make their own decisions when it comes to any COVID restrictions.  

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