US omicron cases on the rise

US omicron cases on the rise

US omicron cases on the rise as NY reports 5; antibody drug appears effective against new variant: Latest COVID-19 updates<br /> Confirmed U.S. cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus ticked up on Thursday after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said five have been identified in her state, another sign that infections are likely spreading throughout the nation.<br /> <br /> "Let me be clear: This is not cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread,'' Hochul said in the tweet.<br /> <br /> "Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask.''<br /> <br /> The variant's presence in the country was first reported Wednesday with a case in San Francisco. The second and third known instances were confirmed earlier Thursday.<br /> <br /> U.S. and New York City health officials said earlier in the day they were working closely with authorities in Minnesota after that state reported the nation's second confirmed case of the variant. Then Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted a midday alert saying omicron as been found in the state. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the infected person is an adult woman who recently returned from southern Africa, where the variant was first identified. The woman, who is vaccinated but not boosted, has mild symptoms, the department said.<br /> <br /> Omicron was first reported by scientists in South Africa, but the samples came from several countries in southern Africa.