Home Uncategorized A Guide to a New Year’s Eve Clouded by Omicron – The New York Times

A Guide to a New Year’s Eve Clouded by Omicron – The New York Times

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A Guide to a New Year’s Eve Clouded by Omicron – The New York Times

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New York Today
In light of the surge in Covid-19 cases, here’s how to participate in the festivities — and how not to.

Good morning. It’s Friday, and it’s the last day of 2021. Congratulations on making it through another rough year. Today, we’ll look at how to celebrate New Year’s Eve during the latest pandemic surge. We’ll also look at how Mayor-elect Eric Adams has answered a top question for many businesses by announcing that he will keep a vaccine mandate for private-sector employers in place. Happy New Year, and stay safe.
Bolstered by high vaccination rates and undeterred by a spike in Covid-19 cases, New York City is pushing ahead with a scaled-back New Year’s Eve celebration tonight in Times Square. Some public health experts and city officials have questioned the wisdom of having any celebration there when the pandemic is surging once again.
San Francisco canceled an outdoor fireworks show. London’s mayor canceled plans for an event in Trafalgar Square.
“Given the increase in Covid cases due to Omicron, I would not go to Times Square to watch the ball drop,” Dr. Danielle Ompad, at New York University epidemiologist, told my colleague Ashley Wong.
But for Mayor Bill de Blasio, the celebration, because of requirements that attendees be vaccinated and masked, is safe enough. It is a symbol, he said, of how the city is moving forward.
“It’s really important to not give up in the face of this,” he said in an interview with NBC on Thursday.
The debate over the Times Square celebration reflects the internal anxiety many New Yorkers are feeling on the eve of 2022 as they weigh whether to celebrate, and assess how much risk they can or should take on.
This year’s Times Square ball drop, a free event, has been scaled back from earlier years after being closed to the public entirely last year.
All attendees over the age of 5 must show proof of full vaccination to enter; anyone under 5 must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. The crowd will be spaced out and limited to 15,000 people, far fewer than the hundreds of thousands that gathered before the pandemic. Everyone must wear a mask.
The celebrations will kick off at 6 p.m., although visitors won’t be allowed into the viewing areas until 3 p.m. KT Tunstall, Karol G and Journey are among the musical acts scheduled to perform.
Shortly after the ball drops at midnight, Eric Adams will be sworn in as the city’s 110th mayor.
Ideally, attendees should not only be vaccinated, but also have received booster shots. Find a place to get vaccinated here.
Some tips should be obvious by now: People should wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth, and wash their hands frequently. People should get tested for Covid-19 before and after the event, and keep wearing a mask in public. Here are some locations where New Yorkers can get tested.
Consider getting off at a subway station a little farther away from Times Square and walking there to avoid the crowds.
And, of course, anyone who isn’t feeling well shouldn’t go to the event.
For those who don’t go, there are still many ways to celebrate!
Public officials are still warning against hosting large indoor gatherings, especially if people will not be wearing masks. Think through the risks before hosting such an event, and make sure precautions are in place, like limiting guests to only those who have gotten booster shots.
New Yorkers can also watch the ball drop on TV. Most networks are carrying the event, as are several streaming services like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV or Peacock. The Times Square Alliance is also broadcasting a livestream.
There are other specials, too, like “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party Hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson,” broadcast from Miami starting at 10:30 p.m. on NBC, with scheduled performances by Brandi Carlile and Billie Joe Armstrong.
And here are a few other ideas of what to watch to ring in 2022. And six other thoughts on how to celebrate.
Weather
On the last day of the year, expect a mostly cloudy day with patchy fog in the early morning and temps in the low 50s. Late at night, there’s a chance of rain with temps in the 50s.
alternate-side parking
Suspended today (New Years Eve).
A jury ruled that an opioid manufacturer and distributor contributed to a public nuisance by inundating New York with pills that killed thousands of people.
Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s term as Manhattan district attorney is ending, but his investigation into former President Donald J. Trump goes on.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams has chosen Frank Carone, a prominent power broker in the Brooklyn Democratic Party, to be his chief of staff.
A state ethics panel ordered former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to turn over proceeds from his book. Not so fast, the attorney general responded.
On Monday, New York City introduced a vaccine mandate for private-sector employees, the first of its kind in the nation. But even before it took effect, a question lingered: Would Mayor-elect Eric Adams keep it in place?
On Thursday, he vowed that he would. Under the mandate, private employers must verify that on-site workers have received at least one vaccine dose. Employees who have opted for a two-dose vaccine must submit proof that they have received the second dose within 45 days.
“Our focus is vaccine and testing, vaccine and testing, vaccine and testing,” Adams said at a news conference, before turning to Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, de Blasio’s health commissioner, who will stay on under Adams until March.
Schools Chancellor: David Banks. The longtime New York City educator, who rose to prominence after creating a network of public all-boys schools, takes the lead at the nation’s largest public school system as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic.
Police Commissioner: Keechant Sewell. The Nassau County chief of detectives becomes New York City’s first female police commissioner, taking over the nation’s largest police force amid ​​a crisis of trust in American policing and a troubling rise in violence.
Commissioner of Correction Department: Louis Molina. ​​The former N.Y.P.D. officer, who was the chief of the Las Vegas public safety department, is tasked with leading the city’s embattled Correction Department and restoring order at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex.
Chief Counsel: Brendan McGuire. ​​After a stint as a partner in a law firm’s white-collar practice, the former federal prosecutor returns to the public sector to advise the mayor on legal matters involving City Hall, the executive staff and administrative matters.
Transportation Commissioner: Ydanis Rodriguez. ​​The Manhattan council member is a trusted ally of Mr. Adams. Mr. Rodriguez will face major challenges in his new role: In 2021, traffic deaths in the city soared to their highest level since 2013, partly due to speeding and reckless driving.
Health Commissioner: Dr. Ashwin Vasan. Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, the current commissioner, stays in the role to provide continuity to the city’s pandemic response. In mid-March, Dr. Vasan, the president of a mental health and public health charity, will take over.
Deputy mayors. ​​Mr. Adams announced five women as deputy mayors, including Lorraine Grillo as his top deputy. Philip Banks III, a former N.Y.P.D. chief who resigned while under federal investigation in 2014, later announced his own appointment as deputy mayor for public safety.
Executive director of mayoral security: Bernard Adams. Amid concerns of nepotism, Mayor Adams’s brother, who is a retired police sergeant, will oversee mayoral security after he was originally named as deputy police commissioner.
“The private-sector employer mandate will stay in effect in the New Year, with a focus on compliance, not punishment,” Chokshi said.
Before the announcement, many business owners were unsure whether to abide by the mandate, or to wait until Adams took office and announced his own policy. Many public health experts have supported the decision, but some business groups have opposed it, particularly because it does not precisely match a similar federal mandate.
“For large businesses with a global and national footprint, consistency between federal policies and state and local policies on vaccine and mask mandates and Covid protocols generally is really important,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, which represents many large corporations. “And the de Blasio policy is not consistent in terms of timing or terms with the Biden policy.”
As coronavirus cases increase, public hospitals in the city are filling up, The City reports.
For many Puerto Rican New Yorkers, dance is an expression of joy, protest and prayer.
Gothamist reports on how 199 streets in New York City were renamed (or co-named).
METROPOLITAN diary
A tale of two hot dog vendors claims the top spot in this year’s best Metropolitan Diary item, outpolling four other favorites. Here is one of the finalists.
Dear Diary:
Every morning before I left for school, my mother would hand me an emergency quarter. This was back when cellphones were a luxury and you couldn’t turn a corner in New York without seeing a pay phone.
“Only use this if you absolutely must,” she said as I slipped the coin into my pocket, where it would sit next to the one she had given me the day before.
I spent Fridays after school in a small barbershop in Corona, Queens, either getting a haircut myself or accompanying a friend who was getting one. Every Friday, an older Dominican man would walk into the shop pulling a red-and-white camping cooler.
Inside the cooler was a black bag. Inside the bag was what I had looked forward to all week.
The smell of fried dough would overwhelm the combined scent of talcum powder, Barbicide and bay rum that had lingered in the air through the day. A well-trained nose could also pick up the scent of onions, olives and seasoned ground beef. Chicken, too, if the man had any left.
“Empanadas, one dollar and twenty-five,” he would bellow as the barbers continued cutting hair without flinching.
Every Friday, I would dig deep into my pocket and fish around for five quarters, one for every day of the week.
This is as good an emergency as anything, I would think to myself before making my request.
“You have any chicken left?”
— Carlos Matias
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.
Glad we could get together here. See you Monday. — M.Z.
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.
Melissa Guerrero and Olivia Parker contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at nytoday@nytimes.com.
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