NEW YORK -- New York state is now a hot spot for rising COVID-19 cases from a variant called BA.2.12.1.
The state is home to 37 out of the 54 U.S. counties the Centers for Disease Control says have high levels of community transmission.
"We should be preparing right now for a potential surge this summer across the southern United States, because we saw it in 2020 and we saw it in 2021," former White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
"We have to make it very clear to the American people that your protection against infection wanes," she continued. "So if you're going to go see your grandmother, or someone that has metastatic breast cancer, or someone under treatment for Hodgkin's disease, or a family member with Down syndrome, you need to test before you go if that area is in a surge."
On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said central New York's seven-day average case rate was the highest it has been in the state for several weeks.
This is compared to New York City, which saw a more than 12% decrease during that same time.
The governor still encourages New Yorker to get boosted and tested when needed.
Hospitalizations across the country are creeping up, but are still well below the levels we saw during earlier surges.
The CDC credits built-up protection from vaccines and prior infections.
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