Omicron Cases Grow in U.S. as State-by-State Detection Rises
Three more cases of the coronavirus omicron variant were reported Saturday in New York, taking the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.
“The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” newly appointed state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett warned in a news release.
The number of states finding the variant is also building.
AP reports Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington state announcing their first cases Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first confirmed cases. Missouri reported its first presumed case Friday, as testing procedures are tightened for U.S. residents and those returning from abroad alike.
He's not wrong. https://t.co/O273iqqa16
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 4, 2021
The variant also has been detected in Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Utah, as Breitbart News reported.
A surge in infections could further strain U.S. hospitals already grappling with high case loads and fatigued staff, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told MSNBC.
“I’m very worried about our healthcare system over the next few weeks and few months. I don’t know how much more it can handle,” he said, urging reinforcements from the National Guard and other contingency plans to bolster doctors and nurses.
In New York, seven of the cases have been found in New York City, once a global hot spot of the pandemic, and the other in Suffolk County.
Flight crew from Air China arrive in hazmat suits in the international terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on December 3, 2021, as Los Angeles County reported its first case of the new Covid-19 variant, omicron. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
California confirmed the first U.S. case of omicron Wednesday.
The person was between 18 and 49 years of age, fully vaccinated and was not eligible for their booster shot yet, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The person showed mild symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery, Newsom said.
State and federal officials have since refused to reveal where that first U.S. patient traveled en route to California from South Africa, where it is suggested that he or she contracted the virus.
Even as the variant spreads, public health officials have yet to prove if vaccines and boosters offer protection, as Breitbart News reported.
Anthony Fauci admitted that public health officials have yet to prove if vaccines and boosters protect against the Omicron Variant. https://t.co/ElRa22fIou
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 5, 2021
Instead Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Friday that people should get vaccinated and boosted anyway, regardless of the current lack of data.
“Although we haven’t proven it yet, there’s every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross-protection, very likely against severe disease, even against the Omicron variant,” he said.
Meanwhile, AP reports ten people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship approaching New Orleans have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Saturday night.
The Norwegian Breakaway departed the city Nov. 28 and was due to return this weekend after making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico in recent days, Louisiana’s health agency said. More than 3,200 people are on board.
Officials did not immediately say whether the passengers had been tested for virus variants.