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We're seeing more COVID in New York. Here's why officials say they're not worried yet

Centers for Disease Control

The COVID-19 pandemic may be over, but that doesn’t mean the virus has disappeared.

Over the past week, the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 and the number of reported cases across New York state have been on the rise, according to the state Department of Health. COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 22% and reported cases rose by 55%, though the numbers are still nowhere near pandemic levels, according to the health department.

In the Finger Lakes region, roughly 60 people with the illness are currently hospitalized. Counts for last week show that the number hovered below 50.

“I think it's unwarranted at this point to sound any major alarms,” Monroe County Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza said Thursday. “I think this is very early data and people should rely on what they've known all along and take appropriate precautions.”

Mendoza said getting vaccinated tops the list of those precautions. The federal government expects a new booster to be released next month, and Mendoza encouraged people to get it sooner rather than later, just like the flu vaccine.

Mendoza also offered familiar advice for anyone who comes down with the illness.

“As you know, many people can have the infection and be generally asymptomatic, and others can become very ill,” he said. “So our advice would be to contact your health care provider, and based on your individual circumstances, they can help you with taking the next steps.”

In a news release, state Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald offered similar advice and emphasized that treatment can prevent hospitalization and death.

Copyright 2023 WXXI News. To see more, visit WXXI News.

Jeremy Moule