ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Over the past few weeks, the New York State Department of Health has been investigating higher than average COVID rates in Central New York. Two new subvariants now account for 80 percent of all cases in the state and are likely to blame for the increase.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said, “While these subvariants are new, the tools to combat them are not. These tools will work if we each use them: get fully vaccinated and boosted, test following exposure, symptoms, or travel, consider wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, and consult with your healthcare provider about treatment if you test positive.”

According to the state, more than 38 million vaccine doses have been administered. Dr. Jim Saperstone weighed in on preliminary data of the new virus variants.

“It’s not nearly as severe as the original Delta and probably more like the original Omicron variant,” Saperstone stated.

Saperstone said while people will be traveling as the weather gets better, he doesn’t think COVID
will be as bad as it was during the winter months.

“We got a lot of immunity from that last variant because we we’ve basically immunized people who didn’t want to get immunized or were not fully immunized,” explained Saperstone. “This kinda helped move some of the herd immunity along.”

However, he still urges people to take precaution.

As cases continue to climb, Governor Hochul recently stated in a radio interview that she is going to protect the health of New Yorkers and the economy. She added she’s not going to shut it down again.