Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announces positive Covid test

<span>Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA</span>
Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA
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The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tested positive for Covid-19.

Related: Biden health chief endures Fox News grilling over mixed Covid messaging

In a statement on Sunday evening, the office of the New York progressive said she was “experiencing symptoms and recovering at home.

“The congresswoman received her booster shot this fall and encourages everyone to get their booster and follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance”.

New York is experiencing a huge surge of Covid cases linked to the Omicron variant, placing strain on hospitals and public health resources.

The city has posted high rates of vaccination.

Earlier, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, the director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, was asked about the severity of the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant.

Walensky said: “We are starting to see data from other countries that indicate on a person-by-person basis it may not be. However, given the volume of cases that we’re seeing with Omicron we very well may see death rates rise dramatically.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 837,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the US. About two-thirds of the eligible population is considered fully vaccinated but resistance to public health measures stoked by conservative politicians and media has dogged the federal response.

Walensky also emphasised the importance of vaccination and booster shots, saying: “We have seen with the Omicron variant that prior infection protects you less well than it had … with prior variants.

“Right now, I think the most important thing to do is to protect Americans. We do that by getting them vaccinated and getting them boosted.”