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NYS detects 4 more cases of omicron, bringing total to 12

Gov. Kathy Hochul standing at a podium with the state seal on it

Four more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected in New York, bringing the state's number of cases up to 12, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday.

Two of the latest cases were found upstate, in Oneida County, and the other two were in Long Island's Suffolk County. Of the previous eight cases, one was in Suffolk County and seven in New York City.

Hochul said none of the four latest cases was related to a three-day anime festival in New York City in November, which a Minnesota man who later tested positive for the omicron variant attended.

"We will continue to work with local leaders to provide the latest updates and make sure they have what they need to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus," she said.

Hochul said starting Tuesday, further Omicron updates will be included in the governor's daily COVID-19 progress updates.

There's still a lot to determine about omicron, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, whether it can evade vaccines and whether it makes people as sick as the original strain.

"While public health experts are still learning more about this new variant, we continue to encourage all New Yorkers to take precautions against COVID-19," said state Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. "Get vaccinated, get a booster if you are already fully vaccinated and continue to wear your mask."

Cases have been found in states around the country.

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