First Case of Omicron Confirmed in Westchester

Omicron Reaches West Coast


The latest and reportedly most lethal COVID variant, Omicron, found its way into Westchester County on Tuesday and is causing widespread panic amongst municipalities across the county.

At a press conference on Dec. 7 alongside state officials outside of the White Plains County Offices, Westchester County Executive George Lattimer issued a press conference confirming the positive test results (confirmed by a NYS lab) and issued a warning to those who have yet to have to seek out their latest booster shot.

“Earlier this afternoon we were informed that there is a confirmed case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Westchester County. The positive case is in a 13-year-old Westchester County resident.  With the new variant circulating, the best way we can protect our families and ourselves is by being vaccinated, and by getting a booster shot if you are eligible,” said Lattimer on Tuesday in front of a group of local news outlets.

Although the severity of the symptoms for the 13-year-old are not clear at this time, the county and state are taking all the necessary precautions.

Just in time for the holiday season, Omicron, which had reportedly reached California as the United States first confirmed cast just last week, is rapidly gaining unwanted momentum.

Furthering his mandate against the spread of the Omicron variant, Lattimer would go on to issue a State of Emergency Executive Order effective until 8 a.m. Dec. 8 for all of Westchester Country.

“I have officially signed the State of Emergency Executive Order for Westchester County.  I am taking this action to combat the Delta and Omicron COVID variants. There is currently a public health threat, I know it has been many months, I know you are tired but we – together – must take action to be better prepared to fight COVID and the new variants.”

Westchester and neighboring counties urgency towards establishing further mandates against the spread of COVID come at a time where neighboring counties in Connecticut are actively dealing with a steady increase in cases of their own. Connecticut’s  COVID positivity rate has leaped to 8.3 percent in recent weeks, sparking more cause for concern over the trajectory of Omicron. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health issued a warning that the state’s COVID infection rate is on the rise as the second case of a local Omicron variant infection was confirmed in Fairfield County; a neighboring county to Westchester, earlier this month.

Westchester County has seen COVID related hospitalization numbers nearly double over the past month, leading many area hospitals to call off, and out-right cancel elective surgeries in case the need for hospital beds were to come into play. A worthwhile precaution, that comes only with experience.

“We expect to see more active cases so we’re not going to be surprised when we see it. We’re not going to be happy to see it but now we’re getting prepared to deal with it at the next level up,” added Latimer.

While these actions and orders were put into place on Dec. 7 are more so precautionary measures than anything, it serves as a stark reminder of what our communities have dealt with over the last 24 months.