New York declares state of emergency amid Omicron variant fears

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
New York City skyline
New York City skyline

New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the state and the threat of the Omicron variant.

She said the variant hasn’t yet been detected in the state but that she decided to sign an executive order to allow the health department to limit non-essential, non-urgent procedures at hospitals and acquire critical supplies more quickly. The order takes effect December 3 and will be re-assessed based on the latest data on January 15.

"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," Hochul said. 

Earlier in the month, Hochul blamed vaccine holdouts for a rise in hospitalisations, saying that a worsening situation was avoidable if people would get the shots. She also discouraged large indoor gatherings for Thanksgiving, saying then that "we are heading into a vulnerable time."

President Joe Biden on Friday imposed fresh travel restrictions on nations in southern Africa, where the omicron variant was first detected, joining efforts by other countries to try and slow the spread of a potentially potent new Covid-19 variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday that no omicron cases has been identified so far.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.47
-0.5%
Rand - Pound
21.06
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
17.62
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.12
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.5%
Gold
1,811.53
-0.4%
Silver
22.86
-0.7%
Palladium
1,888.59
+0.6%
Platinum
970.61
-0.6%
Brent Crude
86.48
+0.5%
Top 40
68,024
-1.3%
All Share
74,703
-1.2%
Resource 10
74,265
-0.6%
Industrial 25
93,979
-1.7%
Financial 15
15,264
-1.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot