State health officials say Pennsylvania has just passed the 49-thousand point for deaths caused by the COVID virus. An update from last week shows a little over 15-thousand cases have been reported. Hospitalizations for the past two weeks have increased some 25 percent, as well. The health officials say the newest threat is from the omicron variant X-B-B-one point five. It was first reported in the United Kingdom in August of last year . However, it grew by about a third during Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. The state says the variant has caused over 32 percent of new infections in the region.