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Times Square NYE ball drop celebration to be “scaled again” as Omicron pummels NYC

The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop celebration will likely be “scaled again” this yr amid an increase in COVID-19 circumstances and the quickly spreading Omicron variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced on Thursday.

In an announcement, de Blasio mentioned that the “scaled again” celebration can have “further protections in place,” to fight the unfold of COVID-19, together with proof of vaccination and mask-wearing.

“New Yorkers have stepped up tremendously over the previous yr—we’re main the way in which on vaccinations, we’ve got reopened safely, and day-after-day we work towards constructing a restoration for all of us,” de Blasio mentioned in an announcement. “There is loads to have a good time and these further security measures will maintain the absolutely vaccinated crowd secure and wholesome as we ring within the New Year.”

The celebration will even permit for social distancing measures to be adopted as fewer attendees will fill viewing areas. According to the announcement, the ball drop celebration will host roughly 15,000 individuals, a major lower from the 58,000 those who usually attend.

In the assertion, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams praised the choice by de Blasio.

“The Mayor has made the best transfer to take precautionary measures as we study to reside with COVID and battle the Omicron variant—and New Yorkers and guests alike can now take pleasure in Times Square and the remainder of our metropolis as we ring in 2022,” Adams mentioned.

Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, made comparable feedback, saying, “We applaud the management of Mayor de Blasio to find a approach to welcome revelers into Times Square on New Year’s Eve in a good safer means than we initially deliberate.”

The determination by de Blasio comes as COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations have elevated all through New York City. According to knowledge from the town’s well being division, over the previous week, the town has seen a mean of 12,613 confirmed and possible COVID-19 circumstances.

Data from the town’s well being division additionally exhibits each day COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are rising over the previous week.

New York City can be going through the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which was first recognized in South Africa and has now been detected in most U.S. states. The severity of the Omicron variant, in comparison with others, continues to be being studied by well being officers throughout the globe.

During a press convention on Wednesday, de Blasio mentioned “Again, with what we’re seeing to date in Omicron [is an] intense surge, however much less affect, and we additionally consider it’s going to be for a

“So that doesn’t counsel doing issues the way in which we did final yr, it suggests a distinct recreation plan,” de Blasio continued. “We even have a hell of much more individuals vaccinated than we did after we went by way of the challenges final yr, and that is the muse of all issues.”

Newsweek reached out to the mayor’s workplace for additional remark however didn’t obtain a response in time for publication.

The New Year’s Eve ball drop celebration in New York City’s Times Square will likely be “scaled again” this yr amid an increase in COVID-19 circumstances. Above, confetti flies within the air in a largely empty Times Square for New Years Eve in New York City on January 1, 2021.
Corey Sipkin/Getty
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