While COVID-19 cases seem to be increasing all across the state and the Omicron variant has appeared in New York, I think it's important to look at some of the counties hardest hit by the deadly virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control 59,354, New Yorkers have lost their lives to COVID-19. The Health Electonic Response Data System has reported slightly fewer deaths - 46,715. The Omicron variant has made its way to New York, there are currently eight known cases in New York and Suffolk County. Over the course of the pandemic, the counties below have suffered the most human losses. Most of the counties below are the most populous in the state, so it's not surprising they are on the list.

10. Richmond County - 1,224 Deaths

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9. Monroe County - 1,259 Deaths

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8. Erie County - 2,079 Deaths

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7. Westchester County - 2,357 Deaths

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6. Manhattan County - 3,152 Deaths

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5. Nassau County - 3,338 Deaths

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4. Suffolk County - 3,697 Deaths

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3. Bronx County - 4,712 Deaths

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2. Queens County - 7,266 Deaths

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1. Kings County - 7,647 Deaths

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Data provided by The NYS Health Department, as of 12/3/21

Here’s What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

1. It originated in South Africa and has since been found in Great Britain, Isreal, and other countries,

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021.

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Photo by Jacques Nel on Unsplash
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2. According to the World Health Organization the Omicron variant has many mutations,

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.

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Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
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3. Omicron poses a higher threat of reinfection,

Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs.

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Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash
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4. Omicron seems to have the potential to spread at a faster rate than other variants of COVID-19,

This variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

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Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash
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5. The WHO is reminding people that previous safety protocols should remain in place to help prevent infection from Omicron,

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.

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Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash
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6. The doctor who first discovered the Omicron variant, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, says the symptoms, so far, have been mild,

What we are seeing clinically in South Africa — and remember I’m at the epicenter of this where I’m practicing — is extremely mild, for us [these are] mild cases. We haven’t admitted anyone, I’ve spoken to other colleagues of mine and they give the same picture.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash
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13 Famous Upstate NY Homes You've Probably Never Heard Of

Here is an eclectic collection of 13 homes that have wonderful back stories to them. Several are grand mansions, several are museums, one is basically a cabin, and one is attached to a lighthouse. Take a look at these "unknown homes of Upstate New York." And the best thing is that...they are all open to the public for tours!

This Modern Masterpiece $45M Home Would Be Illegal To Build On The Hudson River Today