Many officials and health experts advise against ringing in 2022 with a couple dozen of your friends this New Year’s Eve.
“Omicron and delta are coming to your party,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned reporters Monday. “You should think twice about how many people will be present.”
The latest coronavirus outbreak has already ruined many annual celebrations around the world, from London to Tokyo to Paris and Athens.
San Francisco officials canceled their annual celebration this week, citing concerns about the nation’s latest COVID-19 surge.
“This increase in cases will have an impact on us in a variety of ways, including staffing levels, which led us to make the difficult but correct decision to cancel New Year’s Eve fireworks.” Despite these challenges, we are committed to providing the services required to care for our city,” Mayor London Breed tweeted.
In Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on Tuesday that the city’s Peach Drop would be canceled due to public health advice.
The United States is experiencing its worst outbreak on record, with more Americans testing positive for the virus every day than at any other time during the pandemic.
According to federal data, the United States is reporting an average of 277,000 new cases per day as of Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 250,000 cases reported per day set in January. The United States has reported nearly 1.9 million new cases in the last week.
Hospitalizations for Coronavirus are also on the rise. More than 90,000 Americans have been hospitalized with the virus, a figure that has more than doubled since early November.
Health experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, have been vocal about their concerns about the nation’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, fearing that such events will hasten viral spread.
“Should you alter or reschedule your plans? If your plans include attending a 40- to 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everyone hugging and kissing each other and wishing each other a Happy New Year, I strongly advise you not to do so this year “Fauci stated this during a press conference on Thursday. Despite the nation’s record-breaking surge, many cities are still opting to move forward with plans.
Thousands of revelers in New York City’s Times Square will welcome the new year with the famous ball drop, despite the fact that the city reported its highest coronavirus cases on record on Thursday, with more than 74,000 residents testing positive.
According to city officials, 58,000 people attend the annual celebration on average. The festivities, however, will be limited to 15,000 people this year. The city also stated that attendees will be required to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination.
Despite these precautions, Mike Levine, chairman of the New York City Council’s Health Committee, has called for the event to be canceled, tweeting on Wednesday that he “100%” agreed that the city should not celebrate. De Blasio, on the other hand, stated that there are no plans to cancel the event.
An estimated 300,000 people are expected to attend a New Year’s Eve fireworks show on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, which is now reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a year.
Although Chicago will hold its annual New Year’s Eve celebration, officials are urging residents to exercise caution and stay at home if they are ill.
Illinois is now averaging more cases than at any other point in the pandemic, with over 5,300 people hospitalized across the state.
Some cities, such as Boston, have announced plans to limit the spread of disease during their annual celebrations.
As part of Boston’s First Night celebration, city workers will hand out 1,000 rapid test kits and offer a COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot clinic to anyone aged 5 and up.
Officials in Raleigh, North Carolina, will provide on-site COVID-19 testing and will require all attendees to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
On Wednesday, Fauci emphasized that, in the end, small-scale gatherings at home, such as those with close family members and friends who have all been vaccinated and boosted, are the safest type of event to hold.