No changes planned for New Years Eve celebrations in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – New Years Eve is only four days away and with COVID-19 concerns lingering across the country, places like New York are cutting back on their celebrations.

But not in Las Vegas – here the festivities will largely remain the same. Performances, parties and fireworks should always take place on the Strip and downtown.

And while it’s normally the biggest party near Times Square, it’s really not a fair comparison.

“We don’t have a small area where we have complete control over things,” said Dr Brian Labus, infectious disease epidemiologist and professor at UNLV. “The whole city is organizing this party.

Times Square normally has around 58,000 people for its ball drop night. Now, organizers are limiting capacity to 15,000, planning for later entry and demanding masks and proof of vaccination.

Las Vegas, on the other hand, currently maintains the course of normalcy. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said it is not planning any New Years Eve tours or economic impact this year.

“We’ve had to deal with crowds coming to Las Vegas for the past two years,” Dr. Labus said. “So New Years Eve is not really new. It’s just kind of a bigger event. But it’s still in line with everything we’ve done over the past two years.

The Southern Nevada Health District reports that 68% of the population is at least partially vaccinated.

“But really, if we’re talking about tourists, that’s a different problem,” he said. “Never mind the vaccination rates in Nevada. We are talking about the vaccination rates of all the people who come to Las Vegas on New Years Eve, which we cannot even estimate because they come from all over the world.

Even if it’s outdoors, the CDC’s recommendation is that you wear a mask in large crowds to reduce your risk of infection.

“We are a city based on tourism, so finding a way to manage tourism is not something we have to think about on New Years Eve,” said Dr Labus. “It’s our daily routine. “

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