You an call it a variant strain of the previous variant strain which was an also a spinoff of the previous strain. Whether that's how you refer to the latest evolution's of COVID-19, or if you have a more 'official' label, like BA 2.12 or the other strain in lineage, BA.2.12.1, it's going around in Central New York.

These are the newest sub-lineage of the BA.2 strain - which was originally by some the stealth variant of Omicron. BA.2 was said to be nearly twice as contagious as Omicron.

The State Department of Health said after investigating 'higher than average' case totals in the region, ''Based on newly available data in the public database, GISAID, as well as additional data submitted directly to the Wadsworth Center from sequencing laboratories in New York, State health officials have determined that these highly contagious new variants are likely contributing to the rising cases."

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said in a COVID-9 news briefing Wednesday that state officials had confirmed to him the presence of the BA.2.12 strain.


Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its COVID-19 Community Levels and labeled Onondaga, Oswego, and Cayuga counties in the "high risk" category, recommending the use of masks indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.

"The good news is we have tools to address this. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves and their families by getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose when eligible, getting a test following exposure or when developing symptoms, staying home and isolating when symptomatic, talking to your healthcare provider about treatment if you do test positive, and recommend wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status in public indoor places. Treatment is widely available and works best if taken within five days of symptom onset, so get tested quickly after symptoms arise," said NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett in a news released on the higher than average cases totals.

The Onondaga County COVID Tracker's latest number posted were from Monday of this week, finding a positivity rate of 28.5% of more than 1,300 test. The new case total for the day was 486 (including at home positive test results reported to state officials), with the county also adding 15 new hospital admissions.

There are currently 74 in Onondaga County hospitalized with COVID-19. Seven are in critical condition.

Utica, NY Police Department's Top Ten Most Wanted

The City of Utica Police Department in Utica, New York has released its Top Ten Most Wanted List for the month of February 2022.

Several of those listed have previously been featured in separate posts about individual crimes, on a previous wanted list, or as the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers Wanted Person of the Week.

The reader is reminded that all persons, either suspected of or arrested in connection to, a crime, are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of the individuals listed is asked to call police or the local Crime Stoppers.

The Utica Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division can be reached at: (315) 223.3510.

Calls, e-mail, and messages may also be left anonymously with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by calling: 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS), by visiting, or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.

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New York State Police rescue more than humans. They help save defenseless animals too.

Utica Police Officers working Downtown Utica in the 40s and 50’s

Utica Police officers were out patrolling Downtown Utica "back in the day" See if you can guess the locations from the 1940's and 1950s.


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