NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has garnered the attention of the whole world and its effects are starting to be felt here in the Empire State. 

No cases have been detected in the United States, but Wall Street had its worst showing of the year as the Dow Jones lost 905 points and the S&P 500 fell 2.5%. Experts say “Travel and energy stocks are among the biggest losers” as the White and other world leaders plan to restrict travel to South Africa, a region that has been most effected by this new variant. 

Back in New York State, Governor Kathy Hochul said her administration will also keep its eyes on the the situation. 

“We are closely monitoring the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529, also known as the Omicron variant. The Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 virus samples selected from throughout New York State to compare sequences and identify circulating and new variants. While we have not yet identified any Omicron cases, we are not surprised that new variants are emerging and may likely end up in New York. We will continue to monitor WHO actions and work with our partners at the CDC to keep a close eye on developments.” 

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Entering the Thanksgiving Holiday, New York State had over 7,100 positive cases of COVID-19 Wednesday with a 4.02% positivity rate. 68.1% of all eligible New Yorkers are considered fully vaccinated and 77.3% have at least one dose.  

“I want to remind New Yorkers to continue taking the precautionary steps we know reduce the spread of this deadly virus: wear a mask in indoor public places, use proper hand hygiene, get tested, and stay home when sick. The vaccine also remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and this news further emphasizes the need for each of us to get vaccinated and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated,” Houchul said. 

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