Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order Friday to allow the Department of Health to limit non-essential procedures in an effort to limit potential Covid-19 spikes this winter.
The order will allow the limitations until at least Jan. 15.
The new protocols will begin Dec. 3, and will be re-assessed based on the latest COVID-19 data on Jan. 15. The executive order will also enable New York State to acquire more quickly any critical supplies to combat the pandemic.
The new omicron variant has not been detected in New York State yet, but Hochul warned that “it’s coming.”
“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Hochul said. “In preparation, I am announcing urgent steps today to expand hospital capacity and help ensure our hospital systems can tackle any challenges posed by the pandemic as we head into the winter months. The vaccine remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and I encourage every New Yorker to get vaccinated, and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated.”