Omicron 'Spreading Quickly' in New York City as Positivity Rate Doubles

New York health officials said on December 16 that the Omicron coronavirus variant was spreading rapidly in the city, as authorities reported a sharp uptick in cases and positivity rate.

“Omicron is here in NYC and spreading quickly,” Dave Chokshi, New York City’s Health Commissioner, wrote in a tweet. “We’re seeing a surge of #COVID19 cases ahead of the holidays – the 7-day average for new cases has tripled in the last month. All boroughs remain in high transmission.”

New York City reported a positivity rate of 7.8 percent among PCR tests administered as of December 13, a significant rise from recent weeks. Jay Varma, a physician and health advisor to New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said the city had “never seen” a similar increase.

This footage, taken along Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn, shows long lines as local residents queued up for COVID-19 tests. Credit: Samuel Oakford via Storyful

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