NEW YORK (AP) — The fate of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be decided this week. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday a decision will be made by Christmas on whether to hold the event, as the omicron variant spreads rapidly throughout the city. The event was a socially distanced affair last year, attended by small groups of essential workers. De Blasio and health officials say the city is focusing on expanding mobile and fixed testing sites to accommodate high demand. De Blasio says omicron is a “fast, temporary phenomenon” is expected to surge in the next few weeks then likely dissipate.
Photo: Confetti flies after the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball drops in a nearly empty Times Square, early Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, as the area normally packed with revelers remained closed off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)