NEW YORK — Additional cases of the new omicron variant of COVID-19 have been identified in New York City, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Saturday.
The state Health Department confirmed three new cases, bringing the total in New York City to seven. An eighth case was identified in Suffolk County on Long Island.
Hochul said she expects to see more cases of the variant in the coming days.
“We knew the Omicron variant was coming and we expect to see more cases. But let me be clear: We are not defenseless,” the governor said in a statement on Saturday. “We have the tools to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus: Get your vaccine, get your booster, and wear your mask. Let’s use these tools to protect ourselves and our loved ones as we approach the holidays.”
None of the cases are believed to be related to the Anime NYC convention at the Javits Center, where a man from Minnesota had attended before testing positive for the omicron variant, according to state health officials.
The convention, which took place from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, drew about 50,000 people, according to event organizers, and attendees were required to wear masks and show proof of having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
State and local officials have urged anyone who attended the event to get tested for COVID-19 and wear a mask in public places.
This story comprises reporting from The Associate Press and PIX11’s Ashley Soley-Cerro, Mark Sundstrom and James Ford.