ALBANY, NY — Gov Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, August 29, announced new steps the State of New York is taking to protect individuals from COVID-19 following reports of a new variant, BA.2.86. …
ALBANY, NY — Gov Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, August 29, announced new steps the State of New York is taking to protect individuals from COVID-19 following reports of a new variant, BA.2.86. These steps come after COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York increased as the summer progressed. As a reminder, an updated COVID-19 vaccine tailored to guard against certain variants is expected to arrive in pharmacies and doctor’s offices this Fall.
“While New Yorkers might want to be done with COVID-19, COVID-19 isn’t done with us,” Governor Hochul said. “With the increase in hospitalizations and reported cases this summer, I strongly urge everyone to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their communities. To keep New Yorkers safe, my administration will continue to monitor this situation, share information on the new boosters as soon as it’s available, and continue to make N-95 masks available statewide.”
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine manufactures to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine to target Omicron variants. The new shot is expected to be released by the three major COVID-19 vaccine producers in September 2023. Governor Hochul encourages New Yorkers to monitor the CDC and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) websites frequently for information on updated COVID-19 vaccine administration recommendations.
To protect all New Yorkers, DOH and the Wadsworth Center continue monitoring for and analyzing samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as reports emerge of new strains. The ongoing dual surveillance strategies of wastewater surveillance and laboratory clinical analysis, conducted with partners at Syracuse University and across the state, have proven vital to New York State's ability to understand variant spread and the potential impact on public health. In response to identifying the new BA.2.86 variant, the Wadsworth Center immediately enhanced early detection efforts in New York State. In conjunction with the collaborators at Syracuse University, analysts searched wastewater data from the last six months to confirm the new strain was not detected in New York. This process will continue to be used to help monitor for the variant in new wastewater samples. Additionally, Wadsworth Center is coordinating with numerous health care professionals across the state and collaborating laboratories to expand the pool of clinical COVID samples submitted for analysis to increase the opportunity for detecting BA.2.86, should it enter the state.
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