New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced urgent new protocols to boost hospital capacity amid concern over the new COVID-19 variant and possible spikes in cases this winter.
The governor said in an announcement on Friday, Nov. 26, that the state is preparing for a potential uptick in cases, adding that the Omicron variant has not yet been detected in the state.
"We've taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic," Hochul said. "However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it's coming."
- Earlier report - COVID-19: New Variant's 50 Mutations Make It Different From Original Virus, NIH Director Says
Hochul said the new executive order will allow the Department of Health "to limit non-essential, non-urgent procedures for in-hospitals or systems with limited capacity to protect access to critical health care services."
The protocols will begin on Friday, Dec. 3, and will be re-evaluated on Saturday, Jan. 15 based on the latest COVID-19 data.
Hochul also tweeted on Sunday, Nov. 28, that all nursing homes in the state are now required to make COVID-19 booster vaccines available to residents.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.