Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed concerns Monday about a COVID subvariant that has been tied to an increase in cases in New York, saying that the state is prepared and its response to the virus is continuing.
Omicron subvariant BA.2 has been blamed for rising COVID numbers worldwide. While New York's seven-day case average per 100,000 residents has increased 30 percent since last week, Hochul pointed out that the difference between the raw numbers is minuscule — 8.3 new cases per 100,000 two weeks ago and 10.8 new cases per 100,000 last week.
By comparison, during the height of the Omicron surge this winter, New York was seeing 400 new cases per 100,000 residents.
"We're monitoring the numbers intensely," Hochul said, during a visit to the Wadsworth Center in Albany. "We’ve never taken our foot off the gas when it comes to our preparedness for dealing with this pandemic. We’ve never had a high-five that it’s over. We’re adapting to the circumstances and reopening in a way that I still believe should continue.
"We've learned a lot. We know how to handle this. We are not in alarmist mode. We are not panicking over this. We're just watching the numbers."
New York State's rolling positivity rate is the highest it's been since the end of February, but still below 2 percent. New York City's rolling average is even lower at 1.4 percent.
Most importantly, as Hochul reported Sunday, COVID-related hospitalizations remain at a seven-month low; daily COVID-related deaths have remained in the teens or lower.
If something changes, Hochul says New York is prepared to adapt.