Times Square Show Will Go On Despite Virus Surge, Mayor Says
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NEW NY (AP) — New York City will ring in 2022 in Times Square as planned despite the record number of COVID-19-related infections in the city and across the nation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
“We want to prove that we’re making progress, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” de Blasio, his last day in office will be Friday, said on NBC’s “Today” show.
The city’s officials previously announced plans to host a smaller New Year’s party after bans on revelers in Times Square a few years prior due to the pandemic.
Atlanta and other cities have cancelled New Year’s Eve celebrations. However, de Blasio stated that New York City’s high COVID-19 vaccine rate makes it possible to welcome crowds of people who are masked and socially distant to Times Square to witness the ball drop. “We’ve got to convey a message to the world. He stated that New York City was open.
New cases of COVID-19 have increased to more than 265,000 per day due to the highly contagious Omicron variant which was first identified as a variant that was of the area of concern. According to New York state statistics, New York City had a record number (over 39,590) of confirmed cases on Tuesday.
De Blasio said the answer is to “double the dose of vaccinations” and noted that 91 percent of New York City adults have had at least one COVID-19 dose.
The city’s next mayor, Eric Adams, will swear in at Times Square early Saturday. Adams is a Democrat like de Blasio, planned a news conference later on Thursday to outline his pandemic plan.