First U.S. Case Of Omicron Detected In California: What We Know So Far 1662222/Pixabay

New York City has recorded and confirmed five cases of the Omicron variant Thursday. Gov. Kathy Hochul said cases were reported in Queens, Long Island, and Brooklyn but has reassured the public this is no cause for alarm.

The new variant has also been reported to be present in Minnesota where a man who had recently traveled from New York City for an anime convention tested positive for the Omicron variant. A female from Colorado who tested positive had recently traveled to South Africa and is reported to be experiencing only mild symptoms. California has also confirmed its first Omicron case earlier this week.

As fears over a surge of cases of the new variant Omicron loom over the United States, hospital officials in New York are keeping a close watch on bed capacity in the area. On Wednesday, records showed an increase in hospitalizations in six hospitals with bed capacity said to be below the 10% threshold. This means all six facilities are filled to the brim with more than a 90% capacity.

However, New York hospital officials say the recent spike in hospitalizations may just be seasonal and attributed to the seasonal flu and non-Covid related viruses.

According to NBC New York, officials in the Big Apple are confident they have enough room to handle any sudden uncertainties that may come from the emergence of Omicron in the United States.

"Let me be clear: This is no cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread. Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask,” Hochul urged New Yorkers.

Some upstate hospitals have decided to pause elective surgery starting Friday to maintain the bed capacity threshold. The New York City’s health and hospitals chief, Dr. Mitchell Katz said the current spike of patient hospitalizations is not Covid-related. "All hospitals have ups and downs in their census and I have to move staff as well as patients. It is an everyday activity”.

So far, those infected with the Omicron variant suffered very mild symptoms.

Coronavirus COVID-19 temporary hospital - Central Park, New York
A temporary hospital is built in Central Park on the East Meadow lawn on March 30, 2020 in New York City. The facility is a partnership between Mt. Sinai Hospital and Christian humanitarian aid organization Samaritan's Purse, equipped with 68 beds to treat COVID-19 patients. John Lamparski/Getty Images

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