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Hochul warns of difficult winter for COVID-19


The spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could mean a “harsh winter” in the coming weeks, warned Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday when she urged New Yorkers to wear masks indoors, get vaccinated and give booster injections receive.

The indoor mask requirement for this week is in effect unless a company requires customers to provide proof of vaccination even though a handful of counties do not enforce the rule in the state.

“This can be the least intrusive thing we can ask people to do,” said Hochul. “We ask people to use common sense. Get vaccinated, get empowered. Please don’t take any chances.”

Bassett says that one person with Delta variant can infect 2 others; each case of omicron can infect 4 more people. Still, the variant is considered less deadly than Delta.

– Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) December 16, 2021

COVID-19 cases have risen steadily across New York for the past few weeks, with spikes just after Thanksgiving and a sharp surge in COVID-19 hospital admissions, now of more than 3,000 people across the country. This has resulted in bed staff shortages in some hospitals, and state health officials have limited voting and surgery in 32 state hospitals.

In New York, 71 people died of COVID-19 on the last day.

Nevertheless, some local governments have refused to enforce the mask or vaccination mandate that the governor has left to the local authorities for the time being.

The new state health commissioner Mary Bassett warned at a press conference in Albany that the Omicron variant can spread much faster than Delta. This version of the virus is currently believed to be less lethal. However, people who have not been vaccinated or who belong to health groups at risk may still be affected.

“People underestimate the power of omicrones,” said Hochul.

Still, efforts to contain the spread of the virus have met resistance in some areas of New York City. Republican Nassau County Executive-Elect Bruce Blakeman has announced that his government will not enforce the mandate when he takes office next month.

Republicans in the state legislature have taken steps to curtail state agencies’ powers to extend emergency rules such as the Mask Mandate, which expires Jan. 15.

Hochul affirmed that her mask mandate should serve to keep companies open and prevent further closures.

“It’s that simple, and when we can focus on it again, unlike the runaways who say they won’t,” she says.

– Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) December 16, 2021

In particular, Hochul urged the media to highlight the wearing of masks and vaccinations, not opposition to mandates.

“I think we’re focusing on some outlier circles that have declared their resistance,” said Hochul. “The vast majority follow him.”


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