Yesterday morning we had not heard of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529. The New York Times did not mention it and The Economist had no information in their morning news feed. It was then one of many variants of the virus that causes COVID. Then the World Health Organization named it Omicron. WHO reserves Greek letter names for variants of particular concern. Omicron is one of them.
The global stock markets plunged with U.S. major indices losing more than 2% in a half day of trading. Lockouts have been instituted and announced. Governor Hochul has declared a state of emergency. Doctor Fauci is making the rounds of all the major media news organizations. How severe Omicron will be and whether the current vaccines will be effective, and if so, to what extent is unknown.
Below is a compilation of what is known and unknown as of the time this article is being written. Most of it is open to revision.
ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, joined with the Senate Republican Conference in sending Governor Cuomo a “COVID-19 Action Plan” that includes programs for public safety, but also to assure the viability of small business and the welfare of employees.
“It is essential that we enact a comprehensive plan to protect health and well-being and also safeguard our small businesses and employees,” said Seward. “The governor has taken a number of steps to combat the spread of Coronavirus, but there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding our economy.
ALBANY – During his daily coronavirus briefing today, Governor Cuomo confirmed 32 additional cases, 76 in all, and declared a state of emergency.
The 32 new cases identified today are in New York City, and Westchester and Saratoga counties. Of the 76 total individuals in New York State who tested positive for the virus, none are in Otsego County, although three people who visited countries were the infection is widespread are in voluntary seclusion.
A state of emergency has been declared in the City of Oneonta as snowfall from Winter Storm Riley continues to fall. Overall accumulation is expected reach 12 inches through the day. Above, Gary Burley and son Mason shovel out their driveway on Oneonta’s Chestnut Street. Temperatures in the low 30s have made the snow heavy and wet, causing some area damage. “There are parts of Chestnut Street and the West End that do not have power,” reported Asst. Fire Chief Jim Maloney. “There are wires and limbs down blocking some road ways, but so far no accidents or fires have been reported.” At right, Casey Thomas drives past temporary stop sign erected at the intersection of Chestnut and West streets when the traffic lights went out. Roads are currently closed to non-emergency vehicles and motorists are advised against any unnecessary travel. Snowfall is expected to continue until midnight. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Schools, City Hall Closed As Storm Stella Blankets State
ONEONTA – With schools, the Huntington Library and City Hall closed, Oneonta has effectively taken a snow day for Winter Storm Stella.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for all 62 counties in New York, and locally, Mayor Gary Herzig has asked all residents to avoid any unnecessary travel. “To protect the safety of all, Oneonta residents should stay home on Tuesday unless travel is essential,” he wrote in a release. “The City is prepared to clear our roads; however, conditions may be treacherous. Please stay tuned to local media for the potential of road closings. All persons should also exercise extreme care and err on the side of caution when shoveling or otherwise removing snow.”