Meantime, the New York City Health + Hospitals temporarily suspended patient visitations systemwide to protect its public hospital workers and patients from the variant.

There are exceptions, including when a visit is medically necessary, if a patient is in an end-of-life situation or in labor, a pediatric patient or an infant in the neonatal ICU. In those cases, visitors must show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 48 hours.

“We’ve had a recent outbreak in one of our hospitals that we think is related to visitors. Not of course their fault,” said Dr. Mitch Katz. “There’s so much transmission going on right now in New York City because of Omicron. So for a short while while we get the situation under control, we’re going to have limited visitation.”

Starting Thursday, five of the city’s mobile testing locations will also hand out rapid tests to those who need them.