NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Health experts are sounding the alarm on the increased spread of COVID spurred by the omicron subvariant BA.5.
It now accounts for 54% of new cases in the United States and has been described as "the worst version of the virus."
It's highly infectious and largely resistant to the current vaccines.
However, hospitalizations remain low, suggesting the vaccines may be preventing serious illness.
The infection rate in New York City has surged to nearly 20% in the last two weeks.
"I think it's important for New Yorkers to understand that there is a lot of COVID being transmitted in the city and the rates are absolutely increasing," said Dr. Jay Varma, Former NYC Mayoral Health Advisor.
COVID positivity in NYC by borough:
New York State is launching a new tool in the fight against COVID, a free hotline for those who test positive.
If you don't have a healthcare provider, you can call 888-TREAT-NY to get treatment.
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