San Francisco public safety officials on Thursday joined forces to remind residents that the city will not be hosting a New Year's Eve party or fireworks show due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
San Francisco typically holds a New Year's Eve fireworks show over the Bay, with thousands packing along The Embarcadero to watch.
This year, however, as the pandemic continues, residents are being encouraged to stay home. Additionally, residents are being discouraged, as always, from using fireworks, which are illegal in San Francisco.
"The facts with fireworks are they cause injuries, they cause death, they cause property damage," Fire Department Spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.
"In my 30-year career as a firefighter, I have seen children and adults succumb to injuries, including losing fingers because of fireworks. In my career-span, I have seen both children and adults lose their lives because of fireworks," he said. "I have seen the induvial themselves who was lighting fireworks lose their home, and neighbors and innocent bystanders lose their home and belongings because of fireworks."
He added, "In light of all the things we've seen in 2020, let's end it on a positive note."
"The official San Francisco fireworks show has been canceled and the safest thing to do is celebrate with people you live with," Police Department spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said. "We encourage you to celebrate at home and limit participants to your primary household."
According to Rueca, extra officers will be deployed throughout the night at traditional New Year's Eve gathering spots like The Embarcadero, Union Square and Market Street, among others.
"We are out and about, and we will be responding to whatever the city needs tonight," he said.
Rueca added, officers, along with other city departments, will be working to crack down on any possible illegal, in-person New Year's Eve parties.
"We are monitoring any types of private events throughout the city. We are investigating those events," he said. "The Department of Public Health and the City Attorney, they'll be notified and we are working with them as a team to address these issues."
BART has also said it won't be running additional trains or for extended hours on New Year's Eve, and service will not begin again until 8 a.m. New Year's Day.