Coronavirus NY: Cuomo says Javits Center may turn into field hospital again after UK COVID variant detected in US

Coronavirus Update for New York

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020
NY preparing as UK variant discovered in US
Derick Waller reports on how New York state is preparing.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Could the Javits Center once again turn into an emergency COVID-19 hospital?

New York is getting ready just in case as COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

The statewide positivity rate is now above 6% on a seven-day rolling average and 5% in New York City.

The news comes after a more contagious variant of COVID, first discovered in the U.K., that's now been detected in the U.S.

Researchers in Colorado detected the strain in a man in his 20s, who has no history of travel, suggesting it's spreading undetected.

Something NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's already assumed.

"It is traveling around the world as we speak," Cuomo said. "It is on planes, it is transmitting, other people are traveling around world, it is the holiday season and it is traveling around the world."

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At the Javits Center in New York City, Cuomo says they will be prepared to activate it as a field hospital once again in a worst-case scenario.

The move is controversial because back in the spring the makeshift hospital only saw about a 1,000 patients total.

That's despite the fact that hospitals in the city were overwhelmed.

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