Here we go again! Health officials are very worried about a brand-new highly contagious COVID variant that's spreading rapidly across the Empire State.

A new omicron variant from South Africa has started to spread rapidly across the United States and New York.

Health Officials Worried About New COVID Variant In New York

Holiday Surge At Covid Testing Sites Subsides, Even As Omicron Continues Its Spread
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The new variant, XBB.1.5 accounts for nearly half of all new COVID cases across the United States. In New York, 70 to 80 percent of all new COVID cases are from the most recent COVID variant, according to updated CDC data.

Health officials add the new variant is doubling across the United State every two weeks, NBC reports.

"It is the most transmissible subvariant that has been detected yet," WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria VanKerkhove said. "The more this virus circulates, the more opportunities it will have to change."

150 More COVID Deaths Reported In New York State

Blood sample positive with Omicron COVID-19 coronavirus

New York State reports 150 more Empire State residents have died from COVID between New Year's Eve and Jan. 4.

"As New Yorkers warmly welcome a new year, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use all available tools to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe and healthy," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said.

Percent Positive Rate Nearing 10% In New York

On Thursday, New York State Police reported over 8 percent of COVID tests in the past 24 hours came back positive. The 7-day percent positive rate in the state is just under 9 percent.

NSW Remains On High COVID-19 Alert As Face Masks Become Mandatory Across The State
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The Mid-Hudson Region leads New York State in new positive cases.

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The 7-Day percent positive rate for the Mid-Hudson Region is 10.35 percent.

Governor Hochul also continues to urge New Yorkers to get their bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

Mike Groll- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Mike Groll- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

"I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use all available tools to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe and healthy," Hochul said. "Stay up to date on vaccine doses, and test before gatherings or travel. If you test positive, talk to your doctor about potential treatment options."

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