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Two CNY Laboratories Selected To Help Track COVID-19 Variants

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'Front entrance' signage (Irving & Harrison Sts.), SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY

The number of COVID-19 cases is rising due to the spread of the Delta variant, including in New York State and Onondaga County. New York had over 1,600 cases Monday and Onondaga County reported 30 new cases. To combat the spread of the virus, the State Health Department will spend $20 million across five New York laboratories to enhance a database of genetic strains of the virus through collected specimens.

Two Central New York laboratories were selected by the State to help identify and monitor COVID-19 variants. SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Molecular Analysis Core in Syracuse and Cornell University’s Virology Laboratory will help the state to expand the surveillance ability.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement this is another way they are fighting the virus.

"New York is once again leading the way by using every tool at our disposal to beat this virus and expanding monitoring for these emerging variants will help us remain ahead of the pandemic as more New Yorkers become fully vaccinated," Governor Cuomo said. "You can do your part to help contain the spread by getting vaccinated in order to protect yourself and those around you."

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker adds in a statement that it will also assist in ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, and encourages all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated. As of Tuesday, slightly more than 28,000 people in New York received a vaccine dose within a 24-hour window.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.
Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.