Due to the increase in COVID-19 case numbers, Grand Park on Sunday announced that its New Year’s Eve event in downtown Los Angeles will no longer host an in-person audience.
The popular annual event, Grand Park’s NYELA Countdown to 2022, was initially set to welcome an invite-only audience of L.A. County’s frontline workers and first responders.
Organizers said that given the uptick in case numbers, they determined that “the safest route to continue with this popular annual tradition would be to eliminate a live audience.”
The event will instead be broadcast and streamed online, which was a previous plan that organizers had.
Residents will be able to watch the show on Fuse and on Grand Park’s YouTube channel at 11 p.m. on Dec. 31.
The event will feature legendary Mexican rock band Kinky, as well as other musical performances and the traditional countdown projected onto the L.A. City Hall building.
The shift to a virtual New Year’s Eve celebration comes as California sees an uptick in coronavirus case and hospitalization numbers.
In Los Angeles County, health officials have warned that the region could already be seeing the beginning of another COVID-19 winter surge.
L.A. County reported 3,730 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and another 3,512 new cases on Sunday — a major increase from previous daily case numbers, which have largely remained below 2,000 in recent weeks.
Adding to concerns is the worrisome new omicron variant, which is being increasingly found across California.
State officials have responded to the uptick in cases by once again mandating masks in indoor spaces, and requiring that unvaccinated guests get tested closer to the event time if they want to enter a concert, a stadium or another large venue.