NEW YORK, N.Y. (PIX11) — A spike in coronavirus cases in New York over the weekend may be linked to a new omicron subvariant, according to health officials.
BA.2 is a new omicron subvariant that is spreading quickly across the country, according to the CDC. Within the last two days, coronavirus cases in New York have more than doubled.
“I don’t think we need to panic just yet, but I do think we have to take the proper precautions, follow common sense, the CDC and Department of Health guidelines, in terms of wearing a mask indoors,” said Dr. Pavel Gozenput, an infectious disease doctor who runs an ICU on Long Island.
Lately, Gozenput has seen fewer people on ventilators and more people going home. But the BA.2 variant is spreading fast. It makes up nearly a quarter of new coronavirus infections across the country, according to the CDC.
In New York, coronavirus cases more than doubled this week, with the positivity rate jumping from 1.45% on Monday to 3.75% on Tuesday.
“We are seeing some early data on the fact that there’s certainly a spike and it’s more prominent in folks who are not vaccinated and not boosted,” said Gozenput.
As doctors study the new BA.2 variant to see how it is transmitted and how quickly it spreads, they say the key to stopping all coronavirus variants is the vaccine.
“The more time we take getting vaccinated and boosted, we are giving virus more of a chance to mutate and form these new variants,” said Gozenput.