1 in 50 Manhattan Residents Contracted COVID-19 in the Last Week, City Data Shows

The new data reveals how rapidly omicron, the new variant of COVID-19, known to be highly transmittable, is spreading in New York City

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COVID-19 is spreading at an increasingly alarming rate in New York City.

On Tuesday, The Hill reported that in the last week alone, about 1 in 50 Manhattan residents contracted COVID-19. The finding was based off data from the city health department.

As of Tuesday, the city had a positivity rate of 19 percent for COVID-19, the news outlet added, while also noting health officials have reported a seven-day average of more than 20,000 new cases a day.

The figures show how rapidly omicron, the new variant of COVID-19, known to be highly transmittable, is spreading in New York City.

Only less than a month ago, on Dec. 2, the first case of the omicron variant was reported in the city, according to The Hill.

In terms of hospitalizations, NBC New York reported Tuesday that daily hospitalizations related to COVID-19 doubled from what the rate was two weeks ago.

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While the Omicron variant is known for being highly contagious, research reveals infections from it are less severe. The variant was first discovered in the U.S. earlier this month and appears to have lower rates of hospitalization.

Medical experts told The Washington Post that research has shown omicron infections have "less severe effects than the delta variant."

"What is absolutely clear is there is lower rate of hospitalization with our omicron patients in our hospital system," James Musser, chair of pathology and genomic medicine at the Houston Methodist hospital system, told the Post. "That does not necessarily mean that this variant is quote-unquote 'less virulent.' The jury's still out on that. What we know now is that … if you are immunized and, more importantly, if you are boosted, you're going to stay out of substantial trouble."

Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people

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