2022 New Years Eve numbers arrive in Times Square; NYE cancelled decision pending
NEW YORK - UPDATE: Sources tell FOX 5 News that the Times Square New Years Eve ball drop will be scaled back and masks will be required. Previous coverage is below.
New Year's Eve is less than two weeks away and while the fate of the big celebration and the crowds in Times Square are still up in the air due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the preparations continue.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says a decision will be made before Christmas on whether to cancel Times Square New Year's Eve 2022.
"Folks who are planning on being there, be ready to, but if we have to modify those plans in a way, we're certainly going to let people know that in just the next few days," the mayor said at a Monday news conference.
On Monday morning the 7-foot tall numbers 2022 for the new year arrived. The numbers crossed the country from California to New York City.
The numbers have nearly 600 LED bulbs and will be on display in the Times Square plaza until noon on Thursday. People will be able to take photos in front of the numbers.
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They will then be installed on top of One Times Square for the countdown. The numbers will light up at midnight.
In November, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that vaccinated people will be allowed back into Times Square for the annual New Year's Eve countdown at the end of 2021. The ball dropped into nearly deserted streets last year due to the pandemic.
The Times Square Alliance is in charge of the event. The 2020 event was held without the normal crowds.
There are concerns about this year's event because of a surge of COVID-19 cases in New York.
6,989 new coronavirus cases were reported in the city on Saturday. 193 people were admitted to city hospitals with coronavirus and the positivity rate for coronavirus tests hit 35%
The mayor said the next several weeks would be "challenging" due to the omicron variant.
De Blasio says a big factor in whether a New Years Eve 2022 canceled decision is made is the vaccine.
"We're certainly looking at the new challenge we're facing, but again this an all-vaccination event and it is outdoors. And those are two very, very important favorable factors," de Blasio said.
Broadway and other live shows have been impacted by the latest surge. At least 10 Broadway plays and musicals have had to cancel performances. The Radio City Rockettes canceled the rest of their shows for the holiday season due to coronavirus cases.