Health Experts Weigh In On New Year's Parties As Omicron Variant Surges

Photo: Getty Images

New Year's Eve is just a day away and while many might be finalizing or preparing for their party plans, experts are weighing in on Covid-19 safety.

Within the next two weeks, some predictions show the US could see new daily cases reach half a million following the gatherings of the winter holiday season –– a grim estimate that seems to be already on its way after daily Covid cases have surged following Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

To ring in the new year, experts say pay close attention to the location and who all will be there.

"There is so much coronavirus in communities around the country that you should assume that Omicron is likely to be at whatever gathering you're going to, and with that in mind, your decision-making should take that into account," CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen said.

Photo: Getty Images

Not all parties pose the same risk, experts noted. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday (December 29) people who are planning to have at-home parties with vaccinated and boosted family members should follow through with those plans. But as the number of those in attendance increases, so does the risk.

"If your plans are to go to a 40-to-50-person New Year's Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing everyone a Happy New Year? I would strongly recommend that, this year, we do not do that," Fauci said.

Outdoor gatherings –– especially with masks –– Fauci said, lowers risk of infection, but large numbers of people can raise that risk, too.

"The larger the group, the higher risk," Wen added, noting that people should understand that "risk is cumulative" so keep that mind if you're going from restaurant to party to bars.

Some cities and states have scaled back and canceled New Year's celebrations due to increases in new Covid-19 cases.

To help make your decision, Wen said to "choose the event of the highest value to you but reduce your exposure at other high-risk events."

To learn more about Covid-19, masks, vaccines, the Omicron variant, and more, please CLICK HERE.

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