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Health experts: Stay home on New Year's Eve if you can

Posted at 10:27 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 10:27:24-05

LANSING, Mich. — New Year’s Eve is coming up and because of the surge in COVID cases and the new omicron variant, experts and Lansing residents said it might be best to ring in the new year differently.

"I am staying home," said Lansing resident Heather Green.

The New Year’s Eve celebration for Green looks a little different this year. Green said it’s too risky to gather in large crowds because of the rise in COVID cases. So, she’ll be limiting the number of people she comes in contact with.

"I mean I have a bar in my basement, air hockey," Green said. "I could just stay home, kids can come over and have just a family event."

Between Thursday and Monday, Michigan reported over 32,000 new COVID cases and over 250 deaths. The state is also dealing with 54 confirmed cases of the new omicron variant.

"The omicron variant is more infectious," said Dr. Karen Kent VanGorder "But it still spreads the same way through droplets and from sick people, but unfortunately right before people get symptoms, they don’t know they’re going to get sick."

Even though experts said COVID cases in the state have reached record highs, it hasn’t stopped local bars from posting flyers, prompting new year’s eve parties.

"In door crowded gatherings are the absolute riskiest thing to do at this time," said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail."I would suggest staying home, having a small gathering at your home, or if you do have to go out, making sure you’re fully vaccinated and boosted if you’re do for a booster at this time."

Health experts said while they expect people to still go out, it’s important to remember COVID-19 is a serious illness that has claimed the lives of over 26,000 Michiganders.

"I just want everyone to be aware that this is way still out there and it’s still very infectious and potentially a serious source of illness for certain people," Kent VanGorder said.