You are reading

Two Cases of COVID-19 Variant Omicron Detected in Queens

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Kathy Hochul reveal that the Omicron variant has been detected in New York City, including in Queens (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Dec. 3, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Two cases of the COVID-19 variant known as Omicron have been detected in Queens, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday.

Two Queens residents are among five New York state residents who have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, which was first identified in South Africa last month. Health officials are concerned that the new variant may be more contagious than prior variants of COVID-19 because of its abnormally high level of mutations, though much remains unknown.

Hochul, who joined Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall, said the other cases were found in Brooklyn, Suffolk County and an unknown borough. She didn’t immediately have information on the vaccination status of each case.

She said all five “seem to be minor cases”.

“This is not a cause for major alarm,” Hochul said. “…We’re not having shutdowns. We’re not changing our protocols. We are continuing where we are, but making sure that we work in concert together and encourage people to get tested.”

Hochul and de Blasio advised New Yorkers to get tested for COVID-19 frequently and to get vaccinated — including the booster shot for those eligible.

The governor said she and other New York officials “knew that this was coming” though a lot about Omicron remains unknown.

De Blasio added that officials believe there is already community spread of Omicron in New York City.

“We know we now have cases here in New York City,” he said. “We have to assume that means there’s community spread. We have to assume that means we’re going to see a lot more cases.”

One of the first cases of Omicron detected in the U.S. was contracted by a Minnesota man who traveled to the city for an anime convention at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, which brought in about 53,000 attendees over three days.

Despite the concern, de Blasio and Hochul maintained that New York has the tools to protect its residents through its massive vaccination effort.

“The best thing that everyone can do is realize we’re not defenseless against this variant at all,” Hochul said.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.