A new mutated COVID-19 case involving the new strain that came over to the East Coast from the United Kingdom has been reported on Long Island.
The new case involving the UK strain has been reported in Nassau County, bringing the total up to 16 such cases in New York since the strain first started making the rounds late last year.
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“Something we have to talk about is the UK variant, which is frightening, and keeping me up at night,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Jan. 15 in Albany. “There’s a new case in Nassau, and we’re sure it’s out there, but just hasn’t been diagnosed all over the country.
“We’re seeing a higher infection rate rise, and more people in the hospital, (which) stresses the staff more, and the UK variant could make more doctors or nurses sick,” Cuomo continued. “It’s a dangerous situation we’re in.”
Cuomo reiterated that it is imperative that hospital systems increase their bed capacity by 50 percent, otherwise state hospitals run the risk of being overwhelmed, which could potentially prompt a fresh economic shutdown.
Any region that finds itself in danger of hitting its 90 percent hospital capacity rate within three weeks, Cuomo has vowed to shut down entirely.
“California is what we’re afraid of … Italy is what we’re afraid of … the UK, that’s what we’re afraid of,” he said. “If you overwhelm the hospital system then you have to close down. That’s the ultimate success or failure of this entire effort.
“It’s binary,” Cuomo added. “If hospitals are overwhelmed, you close down. Period. End of story. Every restaurant … every office, it’s right back to full shut down, and that’s the worst-case scenario.”
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