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Three more confirmed cases of the omicron variant in New York state; all three are from NYC

Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Max Schulte
Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday announced three more confirmed cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant in New York state, for a total now of eight confirmed cases.

All three of the new cases are from New York City, for a total of seven NYC residents and one from Suffolk County confirmed to have the variant.

Hochul said that so far, the cases appear to be unrelated.

"We knew the omicron variant was coming and we expect to see more cases. But let me be clear: We are not defenseless," Hochul said. "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."

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said, "The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread. We continue to work closely with our partners at the national, state, and local levels. At this time, we do not know how quickly omicron will spread or how severe the symptoms of omicron will be. What we are seeing is that the rise of cases across New York State continues to be traced to the delta variant."

Hochul said that New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Laboratory continues to monitor coronavirus samples selected throughout the state to help identify circulating and new variants, including omicron.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.