Gov. Hochul declares state of emergency to prepare for Omicron variant

The Omicron COVID-19 variant hasn’t been found in New York State yet, but Gov. Hochul says, it’s coming.

She announced a state of emergency Friday to boost hospital capacity and address staffing shortages ahead of possible COVID-19 cases this winter.

An executive order she signed gives the State Health Department the power to limit non-essential, non-urgent procedures for hospitals with limited capacity.

The new protocols begin next Friday and will be reassessed on January 15th.