Mayor Says, Times Square show will go on despite virus surge

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CTV – New York City will ring in 2022 in Times Square as planned despite record numbers of COVID-19 infections in the city and around the nation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” de Blasio, whose last day in office is Friday, said on NBC’s “Today” show.

After banning revellers from Times Square a year ago due to the pandemic, city officials previously announced plans for a scaled-back New Year’s bash with smaller crowds and vaccinations required.

The city’s next mayor, Eric Adams, will take the oath of office in Times Square early Saturday. Adams, a Democrat like de Blasio, said at a news conference Thursday that his team is working with de Blasio’s and he plans to keep much of the outgoing mayor’s plans in place.

“January 1 is a new beginning of my administration but it’s a new beginning of our resiliency,” Adams said.

Among the policies Adams plans to keep in place is a vaccine mandate for private sector employees that is the most sweeping of any state or major city. Adams said he, like de Blasio, would impose fines on businesses that do not comply but would try to use the fines as a last resort.

Even as reported cases and hospitalizations surge, Adams has committed to keeping schools open and staving off the closures that marked the early months of the pandemic.

“We can’t shut down our city again,” Adams said. “We can’t allow the city to go further into economic despair.”

The new mayor said he and a team of advisors are studying whether to expand on other vaccine mandates. New York City currently requires teachers and staff in public and private schools to be vaccinated but de Blasio did impose the requirement on students.

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