UVA Health weighs in on how to ring in the New Year safely

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 9:54 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, many people are wondering whether or not they can celebrate without masks and getting a COVID-19 test.

Doctor Bill Petri with UVA Health says we’re almost approaching the same number of coronavirus cases as last year.

Even though many people are now vaccinated against the virus, Petri says the worst thing you can do is celebrate indoors without masks. That’s because he says the omicron variant is highly contagious.

“It’s incredibly infectious. Unfortunately, probably three times more infectious than delta, which was like the record for being the most infectious of the COVID variants,” Petri said. “The risk is really there.”

However, there is positive news to celebrate.

“The good news is a lot of people are vaccinated. We don’t have as many hospitalizations,” Petri said.

Dr. Petri recommends celebrating outside even with masks on.

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