NY Gov. Kathy Hochul tests positive for COVID-19

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Sunday that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

Hochul said she is asymptomatic and will be working remotely for the upcoming week.

In a tweet, Hochul urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted like her.

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"Get vaccinated and boosted, get tested, and stay home if you don't feel well," Hochul said.

A day earlier, the Democratic governor had tweeted a photo from the Olana State Historic Site outside Hudson, New York, which she visited to thank park volunteers.

Hochul is at least the 18th U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19, according to an Associated Press tally. Several U.S. governors have tested positive in recent months, with Connecticut's Ned Lamont and Maine's Janet Mills testing positive in April. New York City Mayor Eric Adams tested positive on April 10, his 100th day in office.

Hochul’s positive test comes amid rising case numbers in New York. For weeks, much of upstate New York has been in the high-alert orange zone, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation that reflects serious community spread.

Last week, New York City raised its COVID alert level from low to medium as the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA-2 continues to spread. 

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The CDC is projecting about 5,000 deaths could occur over the next two weeks with New York and New Jersey among the states expected to see the highest numbers. 

City officials have left open the door to the possibility of a return of vaccine and mask mandates if COVID numbers continue to rise. 

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. 

With the Associated Press.