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How are hospitals handling the new COVID-19 variant? This is what one doctor has to say

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News 12 Staff

Jan 05, 2021, 9:51am EST

Updated on:Jan 05, 2021, 9:51am EST

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The first case of a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a state lab detected the strain in a man in his 60s who works at a jewelry store in Saratoga Springs. Medical experts say the variant is 70% more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.

Gov. Cuomo says the high transmission rate is a concern. He says the man didn’t travel, which is an indication the variant is in the community.

The United Kingdom is under lockdown right now, and will remain that way for at least the next month. It’s an effort to combat the new fast-spreading coronavirus variant. Schools and colleges will be closed for in-person instruction, except for children of essential workers. People will be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons like shopping for essentials, exercise, and medical assistance.

The U.K.’s chief medical officer warns that without further action hospitals could be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks.

Today, the Food and Drug Administration says it will not change recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines. It comes after reports that the agency was considering giving half doses of Moderna’s vaccine.’

The head of Operation Warp Speed says clinical data shows the vaccine can be just as effective at half-doses for those aged 18 to 55.

In a statement, the FDA says in part, “at this time, suggesting changes to the fda-authorized dosing or schedules of these vaccines is premature.”

Johnson and Johnson says its coronavirus vaccine trial is still on track. The company says it should have enough data soon to determine if its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and provides protection against the virus. The Janssen vaccine is a single dose shot, different from those made by Moderna and Pfizer, which require two shots each.

Johnson and Johnson hopes to submit an emergency use authorization application to the FDA next month.

This morning, News 12’s Anthony Carlo is joined by Dr. Hugh Cassiere to discuss COVID-19 hospitalizations and the new virus variant.

Dr. cassiere is the chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Northwell Health.

There were more than 128,000 people hospitalized with the virus Monday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. That’s several thousand more than the previous record, set just one day earlier.

It’s also the 34th consecutive day that more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized with the virus. What is it like right now inside tri-state hospitals? Dr. Cassiere responds in the video below:

Is there any difference with how hospitals handle patients that could come in with the new COVID-19 variant? Below is what Dr. Cassiere has to say:

A negative COVID-19 test doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The FDA is warning a test made by Curative Labs can return false negatives if it’s not administered correctly. It uses a saliva swab, which is analyzed for the virus’ genetic material. The FDA suggests retesting anyone who may have gotten an inaccurate result from the test in the last two weeks. Dr. Cassiere discusses how common is it to get false results with the rapid tests:


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