NY-NJ have higher rate of omicron cases than rest of the nation: CDC

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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 02 : Cashiers wearing protective masks work in a grocery store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 2, 2020 in New York City. New York City is in its second week of lock down due to the coronavirus. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — The omicron variant of COVID already accounts for a higher percentage of cases in the New York – New Jersey area than anywhere else in the country and cases are on the rise, new data shows.

Based on specimens collected last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said omicron accounted for about 3% of genetically-sequenced coronaviruses nationally. Percentages vary by region, with the highest — 13% — in the New York/New Jersey area.

But Harvard experts said these are likely underestimates because omicron is moving so fast that surveillance attempts can’t keep up.

Delta is still prominent, but omicron will likely become the dominant strain in New York City, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.

“It is likely to grow rapidly and more rapidly than we have seen with delta in the past,” he said.

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