Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House medical adviser, said Wednesday that some Americans might want to reconsider their New Year's Eve plans given the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
During a briefing by the White House COVID-19 response team, Fauci said Americans who are vaccinated and have a booster shot should feel comfortable celebrating New Year's Eve in small gatherings with other people who are vaccinated.
"If you are in a situation with a family setting in your home — with family, parents, children, grandparents, and everyone is vaccinated and boosted — although the risk is never zero in anything, the risk is low enough that we feel you should continue to go through with those plans," Fauci said.
However, Fauci said that Americans should avoid going out to attend large-scale New Year's Eve parties.
"If your plans are to go to a 40- or 50-person New Year's Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy New Year, I would strongly recommend that this year, we do not do that," Fauci said.
Fauci's recommendations are similar to those he made before the Christmas holiday. He urged vaccinated people to celebrate with other vaccinated family members but warned against attending large gatherings.
"I want to make sure this is not confused with going to a large gathering — and there are many of these — parties that have 30, 40, 50 people in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals," Fauci said last week. "Those are the kind of functions — in the context of COVID and particularly in the context of omicron — that you do not want to go to."