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Man Diagnosed With Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Attended Anime NYC (Update 2)

posted on by Alex Mateo
NY governor urges attendees to get tested

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Thursday that an adult male from Hennepin County, Minnesota tested positive for the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and she reported that he had attended the Anime NYC event at New York City's Javits Center between November 19 and 21. The male had been vaccinated for COVID-19. He reported mild symptoms on November 22 and got tested on November 24. He was informed to isolate himself from others, and his symptoms have since resolved. This is the second confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the United States. New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged everyone who attended Anime NYC to get tested for COVID-19.

Hochul stated that New York is in touch with Minnesota health officials, and she also said that there have been no confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in New York.

Update: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement regarding the Omicron variant in New York, urging attendees to get tested and take additional precautions such as social distancing. He also urged residents to get vaccinated and wear face masks, while indoors and in public.

ANN has reached out to Anime NYC's event company Leftfield Media for comment.

ABC News reported that event organizers estimated 53,000 attendees for the convention.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a new strain of the disease, and it appears to have evolved independently from the Delta variant. The World Health Organization (WHO) designates it as a "variant of concern." The "first known confirmed" sample of the virus was found November 9 and reported to the WHO from South Africa on November 24. The first case linked to the Omicron variant in the U.S. involved an individual who had recently returned from South Africa. The individual was fully vaccinated and reported mild symptoms.

Current COVID-19 vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death. There were mild symptoms for the two confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in vaccinated individuals. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer and BioNTech are all preparing to potentially change their vaccines to target the Omicron variant. PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron and Delta variants.

This year's Anime NYC event required proof of COVID-19 vaccination and mask usage for all participants. This includes fans, exhibitors, artists, guests, crew, and staff. Founder of Anime NYC Peter Tatara noted that the entire event staff has been vaccinated.

New York City Mayor Blasio had announced in August that the city would require that individuals provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to go into indoor dining areas, indoor gyms, and indoor concerts and performances.

Update 2: Anime NYC issued a statement early Thursday evening:

Sources: The Recount's Twitter account, Luis Ferré-Sadurní's Twitter account, ABC News, CBS News (Alexander Tin), World Health Organization

This article has a follow-up: Washington Post: Man With Omicron Variant Went to Anime NYC With 35 Friends — Half Also Diagnosed With COVID-19 (2021-12-05 00:21)
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