Another resurgence of COVID-19 cases is being witnessed in New York, with an increasing amount of reinfections and a 35% rise in hospitalizations.
The new Omicron BA.5 subvariant is seemingly escaping immunity and transmitting a lot more easily, leading to some calling it the “worst version” of omicron yet. The variant now accounts for an estimated 80% of COVID cases in the CDC’s New York region, and is more than four times as vaccine-resistant as its predecessor.
According to state and national data, the variant has been linked to a heightened risk of reinfection, breakthrough cases and hospitalizations. Reinfection risk is up across the board in New York state, with Long Island reporting the highest reinfection rate (7.3 per 100K) over the last week, followed by NYC (6.9 per 100,000), according to state data.
On Wednesday, the head of the White House’s COVID response team joined Gov. Kathy Hochul’s first COVID briefing in three months as New York grapples with a sixth pandemic wave fueled by the so-called “worst version” of omicron yet.
New York state’s rolling infection rate per 100,000 is up 52% in just the last month, data shows. The statewide hospitalization rate soared 35% in the same time period. BA.5 seemed to trigger a higher breakthrough infection rate through June. That rate has eased but breakthrough hospitalizations are at their highest rate since May 30, which could reflect the known lag.