Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Tioga and Cortland counties soon will have health officials taking a closer look at what is traveling through their sewer systems.

New York State plans to start testing wastewater in all counties across New York State for variants of the coronavirus and track changes in concentration.

Getty Images/ wildpixel
Getty Images/ wildpixel
loading...

During a news conference with Governor Kathy Hochul, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett and Chief of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the Wadsworth Center, Dr. Kirsten St. George assured residents that the state is monitoring the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 but is not “in an alarmist mode.”

The sub-variant, that some are calling: “stealth Omicron”, is responsible for an uptick in cases, making up about 42 percent in the state and rising over the past couple of months.

Get our free mobile app

Dr. St. George says wastewater surveillance is an important tool in addition to human clinical samples to monitor the prevalence of COVID.  More than 50 counties are being monitored and the program is to be expanded to all 62 counties and include sequence analysis for distinguishing variants.

Meanwhile Dr. Bassett and the Governor stress that vaccines continue to be a critical tool as COVID continues to change and new treatments are available for people who do get sick.  Doctor Bassett says people should take advantage of those treatments and contact their physician if they get sick so they can take advantage of those new treatments to avoid more serious illness.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic

Supply Chain Workarounds and Household Hacks

We're continuing to encounter bare supermarket shelves or just run out of stuff we need at home.

There are easy ways to make your own, or substitute ingredients to get around shortages or poor planning. Some can even save you a few bucks.

Check out these workarounds, substitutions and hacks.

See if you know the four most important things you should always keep on hand.