CDC director Walensky says northeast sees higher concentration of omicron subvariant

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was in Princeton, New Jersey on Thursday.

She visited the Princeton University lab where more than 700,000 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

She says they are seeing a higher concentration of cases of the omicron BA.2 subvariant here in the northeast region of the country.

“We have started to see a slight increase in some cases in some areas, as well as an increase in some of our sewage monitoring. So those are areas that we are monitoring very, very carefully. We’ve seen very small increases in hospitalizations in some areas, but not in critical illness, not in intensive care stays,” Walensky said.

“We saw about 35% BA.2s across the country. But in the Northeast region, we saw it at around 50%. That’s one of the reasons we’re watching so carefully,” she continued.

She says that although BA-2 is more transmissible, the disease itself does not appear to be more severe or resistant to vaccines than the original omicron strain.

She also echoed urgent calls from White House officials for Congress to approve $22 billion in emergency funding for COVID-19.

“We have the tests, we have the vaccines, we have the boosts and we have the therapeutics. But we have to be able to buy them and we have to be able to deliver and administer them to the American people. And that’s what he’s risking if we don’t have that funding,” Walensky said.

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