Hudson Valley health officials keep close eye on new Omicron variant BA.2
While the new Omicron subvariant sweeps parts of the world, Hudson Valley health leaders say they're keeping a close eye on cases that are now showing an upward trend.
Many across the Hudson Valley say they are done with COVID, but infectious disease experts warn COVID isn't done with us just yet - especially as BA.2 begins to make its rounds.
Infectious disease experts say this is a variant that's more transmissible and attacks the upper respiratory system, which means symptoms are milder and the vaccines available now are effective against it, according to doctors.
In large parts of the world, it's still driving another COVID surge.
Officials say previous trends show how that can be a precursor to what we see here.
"Omicron that's happening overseas – usually we have about a three-week lead time before we start seeing the impact here in the states…we want to continually be optimistic but paying attention to that," says Westchester Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins.
That's why state and local leaders say their eyes are peeled on the rising infection rate, although they do not expect a steep spike.
Upwards of 40% of New York COVID cases are currently made up of the BA.2 subvariant, according to the most recent state data.
Officials say the silver lining is the toolbox of vaccines, testing and treatment that remains at the forefront of this fight.