Bay Area Families Make Last-Minute New Year's Eve Plans Amid COVID Surge

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New Year's Eve here. But it comes as the U.S. goes through another COVID surge.

Now, a number of families in the Bay Area are now having to change their New Year’s Eve plans to stay safe but are also staying in the holiday spirit.

The excitement for 2022 is alive and well inside a Party City store in Daly City.

“It’s been crazy!” said Jesus Montes, an employee with Party City.

Montes told NBC Bay Area Thursday that the store’s New Year’s Eve party supplies were flying off the shelves all day.

“Obviously, if you look around the store, we’ve been having a lot of balloon orders and a lot of party favors. So right now, it’s kind of a mess but. We’re trying to make sure everyone gets all of their stuff for the day,” he said.

Many families are scrambling to get those last-minute party favors, as many have had to make some changes to their plans due to the latest surge in omicron COVID cases.

As bigger celebrations get canceled, many are opting for smaller ones, to stay safe.

“So, we’re going to have a fashion show with like, with these masks,” said San Francisco resident Sora Stauv.

The Stauv family’s 2022 fashion show is now just for themselves.

“We’re probably alone, but it’s okay, we’re still going to be in the new year spirit and it’s going to be fine,” she said.

Meanwhile, James Tene told NBC Bay Area that he always knew ringing in 2022 was going to be quiet one.

“We are not doing anything. Our family is just staying home. Trying to keep away from what’s out there,” he said.

Stanford infectious disease expert Dr. Abraar Karan said many families are making a smart move with their plans amid of COVID surge.

“The key for families having gatherings is to mitigate risks as much as possible,” he said.

Karan also said that families need to make sure everyone is vaccinated and boosted, but also they are testing for COVID, before and after celebration as many return to school and work on Monday.

But, he says despite all the precautions, he expects there will be more COVID-19 cases next week.

“Cases will start to go up after gatherings. After big holidays, we’ve seen it for the last two years. If you’re vaccinated and boosted, most of those cases will be mild,” Karan said.

Karan added that it’s important to remember that there are a lot of immunocompromised people in the community, as they are most vulnerable.

He said the best way to protect them is to be aware who you are gathering with, get vaccinated, boosted and wear your mask.

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