Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that New York City’s Times Square will re-measure New Year’s celebration as the Omigron variant spreads, with New York State recording its highest daily corona virus cases on the same day.
The mayor said authorities are still monitoring the situation and may take additional precautionary measures in the coming days, if necessary.
For now, participants must show proof of full vaccination and wear masks. To make the social gap more possible, fewer people – only 15,000 will be allowed instead of the usual 58,000. Visitors will not be allowed until 3pm later than in previous years.
The Number of cases reported in the city in the last week The epidemic has been very high since its onset, although testing was severely limited in its early days.
As of Thursday, 39,000 new cases had been reported across the state, more than about 10,000 As of Wednesday, nearly 23,000 of them were in New York City. Over the past two weeks, more than 60 percent of the cases reported in the New York State GISAID Genetic Surveillance Database are subject to Omigron variation, the governor’s office said.
The The city’s seven-day average test positive rate It was 11 percent as of Tuesday, and there were hours of waiting for tests at several sites around the city.
Also, on Thursdays the Fish Band regularly hosts New Year’s concerts at Madison Square Garden. Postponed its upcoming shows, Including the three-set performance originally planned for New Year’s Day.
Shortly before the Times Square announcement, at an unrelated event on Park Slope, Mr. De Blasio stressed that the increase in virus cases would soon subside and that a shutdown was not necessary. Promoting and implementing vaccines and boosters is the city’s strategy, he said Strict vaccination orders Will be sufficient.
“It’s going to be a tough few weeks, but it’s only going to be a few weeks,” he said. “We’ll not back down.
Health experts are divided over the outcome of New Year’s Eve. Denise Nash, a professor of epidemiology at the CUNY School of Public Health, said it was not a good idea to host the event.
“We are in the midst of an epidemic with the great upsurge of a new variant, and we still understand its danger, and we do not want to allow it to escalate,” he said.
He said he was concerned that people coming to New York from other states and countries could take this variation and bring it home.
“Because New York is a global city and connected everywhere, we need to think about those places,” Dr. Nash said.
But, Brown University School of Public Health Dean Ashish K. Ja said the mayor was “really pleased” at his decision not to cancel, citing the vaccine order, adding that the virus usually does not spread effectively outdoors.
“The whole country sees this, so I think psychologically it’s very important for the country to have the sense that we can do these things again and do them safely,” Dr Jah said.
The city said on Thursday that visitors over the age of 5 must receive two doses of the vaccine approved by the FDA or the World Health Organization 14 days before December 31.
The delivery Mr. The last day of de Blasio’s term marks the end of his eight – year term. In a statement Thursday, Mayor-elect Eric Adams said, “Mr. De Blasio said he “took the right steps to take precautionary measures as we learned to live with Covid and fight the Omigron variant.”
Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, said the 15,000 numbers specifically refer to people who are allowed to look at pens. The number of pens will be reduced and only 25 per cent will be filled, he said.
Large numbers of people watch the ball fall from surrounding areas, including hotels, restaurants and office buildings.
“We are very pleased to welcome those returning,” he said. “Safety is our priority, and we realize how safe an outdoor event with fully vaccinated, masked people is in a low-density environment.”
Grace Ashford Contributed report.