New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will make a final decision regarding the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration plans this week.
Last year, public celebrations in Times Square were quashed due to the potential spread of COVID-19. This year, major networks and other entities are planning to return to the area in a limited capacity.
“We want to welcome all those hundreds of thousands of folks, but everyone needs to be vaccinated,” de Blasio said in November, according to The Hill.
Within the last week, the number of new COVID-19 cases within the state has increased with the introduction of the omicron variant. On Friday, state health officials recorded a record-high 21,027 new COVID-19 cases.
Despite the number of new COVID-19 cases, de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul are confident that the virus will not ravage the city in the same way that it did back in 2020.
“It’s important not to fight yesterday’s war,” de Blasio told the Associated Press.
“It’s important to not think we are back in the spring of 2020 or even the winter of 2020. This is a highly vaccinated city where people have much more protection than ever before.”
To combat the omicron variant, the city is distributing one million free N95 masks and and 500,000 free at-home, rapid tests.