‘We expect to see more’: Hudson Valley reacts to first confirmed case of omicron
A state lab has confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Westchester County.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer says a 13-year-old tested positive for COVID-19, and a state lab confirmed they have the omicron variant.
It isn't known how or where they got it, what their vaccination status is or how severe their symptoms are.
Children 12 to 15 years old have been eligible for the vaccine since May but no one under 18 is currently able to get a booster shot.
Latimer signed his state of emergency order Tuesday night which goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
The order gives him more control over how the county will fight the pandemic going forward but doesn't come with any specific mandates for now.
Latimer says he's concerned and closely watching the situation, but ultimately was not surprised it made its way to the county. "We expect to see more active cases so we're not going to be surprised when we see it. We're not going to be happy to see it but now we're getting prepared to deal with it at the next level up," says Latimer.
"People need to get shots and take care of themselves, and hopefully we can get through this," says Felix Garcia, White Plains.
"I'm pretty concerned. I work for Westchester County, so we're taking precautions over there. So, I'm hoping for the best," says James Njarakunnel, of New City.
This is the 14th confirmed case of the variant in New York but the first in the Hudson Valley.