New York State health officials believe the COVID-19 subvariant is more contagious than the first-generation strain of the highly contagious omicron strain, which now accounts for 70 percent of all viruses in the Empire State. The CDC data was released on Tuesday.
Health officials noted that the prevalence of BA.2.12.1 is 27% more contagious than BA.2 (which is also said to be more contagious than the previous omicron) and the agency’s data in the New York area is growing much faster than nationally.
The CDC says it accounts for about 62% of COVID cases in the New York area, including New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands for its purposes, but the proportion of BA.2.12.1 cases may be higher. In any case, the first omicron variant, BA.2., Has retained national dominance in recent weeks (62% of cases to 36.5% for BA.2.12.1), while this subvariant is a locally predominant strain.
To date, no scientific evidence has linked BA.2.12.1 to a more severe disease associated with COVID or a decrease in vaccine efficacy, but the prevalence is high. New York State, for example, makes up the vast majority of the 56 U.S. counties identified by the CDC as having a high COVID risk to the community.
According to the CDC, none of the most dangerous districts in the United States is in New York, but in five districts there seems to be some kind of drip effect.
The NYC Department of Health’s option tracker does not explicitly indicate the BA.2.12.1 sub-variant, but it does show a rough split between the “not BA.2” omicron and the BA.2 omicron in the current case. According to the city’s latest version, the dominance of the latter began to decline in early April.
The proportion of genomically ordered positive COVID samples for isolating variants is part of the general case, which means that the subvarian distribution of omicron is not well reported.
Data from New York show that since March 7, the level of public re-infection with COVID has been rising weekly, both in terms of progression and among those who have not been vaccinated. It is unknown why.
BA.2.12.1 “Significant community outbreaks” were first observed in the state’s Central New York area last month, State Department of Health officials said – and linked the increase in infection to that specific omicron subvarian. Now, COVID numbers in central New York are declining, officials say, but similar to other parts of the state, albeit to a lesser extent, associated with viral outbreaks.
New York City raised the COVID signal level to an average on Monday as it exceeded 200 per 100,000 people in five districts, health officials said. The health department said it had adjusted the level for the first time since the new system debuted under Mayor Eric Adams’s administration earlier this year.
Manhattan and Staten Island have the highest rates of infection per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively, according to the latest health data, but this is the first district in the city to have a disproportionate impact on the overall number of new cases.
These two districts are now classified by the CDC as “medium” COVID warning districts.
In this case, no new COVID protocol will be implemented (or re-implemented), but if the warning level is high – the highest of the three set by health officials – the city will reconsider the requirement for face masks in all public places.
So far, NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan says New Yorkers need to be more vigilant than in the past few weeks – and those at high risk of contracting COVID are advised to stay away from crowded gatherings and other dangerous situations for whatever reason. .
The city continues to offer masks to all New Yorkers, whether vaccinated or not, in public indoors, as highly contagious subvariants of omicron continue to spread to the city, the state, and much of the world.
Despite the rise in new cases, they remain well below January’s peak. Most importantly, hospitalization and mortality are declining, which is much more important from the point of view of public health.
“The coming weeks will be critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and getting it back to dangerous levels so we can enjoy a safe spring,” said New York Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Wasan announced the change in the warning level on Monday. “And remember, the steps you take to protect yourself protect others, especially vulnerable people. As a city, we have the tools to fight this virus. As New Yorkers, we are with it. In our daily lives, we take care of each other and ourselves.” we can. “