The highly contagious BA.2 COVID-19 subvariant surged in several upstate regions causing COVID cases to rise even further in New York.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said New York State recorded 6,546 new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

Hochul revealed that the COVID positivity rate is rising fast in central and western New York, and the statewide rate rose to 5.3%.

“As we inch closer to the Easter and Passover holidays and many New Yorkers prepare to travel and gather with their loved ones, we must continue to utilize the tools to prevent COVID spread and protect those around us,” Hochul said.

Based on the latest data gathered by Hochul’s office, ten New Yorkers died from COVID in the past 24 hours, and hospitalizations rose to 1,136, an alarming 3% jump from just a day earlier.

The latest medical data also shows that the positive test rate stands at more than 11% in central New York and around 8% in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Buffalo areas.

The health officials said about 92% of the cases in NYS are caused by BA.2.

Sources said since it was first identified in November, BA.2 has been spreading around the globe, driving new surges in parts of Asia and Europe.

The health experts said it is now the dominant coronavirus version in the U.S. and more than five dozen other countries.

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