SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Another COVID-19 variant has made its way into the Central New York community.
It’s called JN. 1 and it is the variant accounting for the second greatest amount of cases in New York State. The variant has been circulating abroad and is now making its presence felt here in the U.S.
“We are starting to see a significant increase in the US data,” said Dr. James Alexander, the medical director for the Onondaga County Health Department.
According to local doctors, this is par for the course following the Thanksgiving holiday and winter weather. Gatherings of family and friends and indoor activities all add up to what’s becoming a seasonal trend of a COVID-19 spread. Hospitalizations and wastewater are being monitored to find how much COVID-19 is in our community.
Dr. Elizabeth Asiago-Reddy, the division chief of Infectious Disease at Upstate Hospital said, “There’s been a huge spike in wastewater here but not such a big uptick in hospitalizations.”
New York State COVID data shows that JN. 1 has been on the rise, accounting for the second largest amount of COVID cases after the HV. 1 variant. The CDC links one in five new COVID cases to JN. 1.
We’ll see it persist at an elevated level.
The CDC also considers JN. 1 to be a more transmissible variant. But according to local doctors, most new variants will seem more transmissible at least in the short-term.
“When a new variant emerges as long as that variant is able to escape the immunity that we have it is going to appear to be more transmissible because we are not yet immune to it. So as that variant kind of circulates through we become more immune to it the next one is going to emerge,” Dr. Asiago-Reddy said.
Dr. Asiago-Reddy encourages you to continue forward with your holiday plans but reminds you to be smart.
“I see this as really par for the course, I don’t see it as something where people need to be specifically alarmed that something drastic is going to change and I think the messaging that we have about how to take care of yourself and how to protect yourself is really the same as we’ve been saying for the last couple of years.”