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Governor Kathy Hochul orders boost to hospital capacity due to a new variant



New York — On Friday the New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced an executive order aimed at boosting hospital capacity ahead of a potential winter spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to Hochul, the new protocol is amid warnings about a new and highly transmissible coronavirus variant known as “omicron,” which has not yet been detected in New York.

In order to to ensure capacity, Hochul’s order allows the state health department to limit non-essential surgeries if needed.

The order also will allow the state to acquire critical supplies more quickly, Hochul said.

The move comes amid growing concerns about hospital beds and staffing.