New York Declares State of Emergency to Prep for Omicron COVID Variant

US
(Bjoern Kils/New York Media Boat/Reuters)

New York governor Kathy Hochul (D.) on Friday declared a state of emergency to prepare for the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The emergency order, which will be in place until at least January 15, is intended to increase hospital capacity in the state in the event that the winter season and the new variant bring a surge in cases.

The order will allow the state to use a “surge and flex system,” enabling the Department of Health to limit non-essential and non-urgent hospital procedures in situations where a hospital has less than 10 percent staffed bed capacity. The new policy takes effect on December 3.

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