NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - North Texas hotels and restaurants are preparing to host New Year's Eve celebrations, despite public health warnings about the spread of COVID-19.
"Everyone loves some bubbles on New Year's," said Vyctoria Cray with Refined Hospitality Concepts, which is putting on several events at the Statler in Dallas.
The hotel's ballroom will be transformed into a setting for a 'Royal Masquerade Ball' with socially-distanced stables.
The Statler promises to keep attendees safe by adhering to the latest COVID-19 protocols.
Cray says capacity will be limited to about 30-35 percent and masks will be required. She feels confident the hotel can pull off these events without contributing to the spread of the virus because of the way it has been operating its restaurants and hotels for the past several months.
"I'm not worried," she said. "I think that everyone knows they need to wear their masks, they need to remain seated while they're in the venues. The people that do want to go out have probably been going out, and have been following the rules and know what they are."
There are dozens of similar events planned across the metroplex, including at Legacy Hall in Plano, Texas Live in Arlington, and the AC Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.
"The people that want to go out, will go out," Cray said. "And if they can follow the rules and be safe and stay with us during that time, we're happy to have them."
Public health officials are still strongly encouraging people to avoid large group gatherings, like New Year's Eve parties.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released this statement today:
"As we approach the New Year's holiday, I ask all Dallas County residents to please reconsider their plans if they involve spending time with individuals outside their household. While this is traditionally a joyous time when we gather with our friends and families to celebrate and usher in the New Year, we are in a very dangerous situation with COVID-19 in our county and region.
This past week has brought record high hospitalizations across Dallas County and the region. We have limited ICU bed availability for a county of 2.7 million residents, and these beds are not solely for COVID patients, but other acute illness, traumas, and acute surgery recovery. UT Southwestern projects a 20 percent increase in hospitalizations by January 5 and our hospital and public health officials are extremely concerned about additional increases following the holidays. Hospitals are our last line of defense and they are being stretched. Our healthcare heroes need your help.
Please take personal responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following public health guidance and avoiding indoor New Year's Eve celebrations such as at bars, clubs or restaurants. These are particularly high-risk settings. The safest way to celebrate is at home with your household. You may not feel your personal risk from COVID-19 is high, but given the high possibility of exposure in a bar or party setting, including house parties with people you don't live with, you pose a risk to those around you if you can't properly quarantine following potential exposure. Your actions could have potentially fatal implications if you contribute to the spread of COVID."
Reunion Tower's annual fireworks show is a way to ring in the new year while staying social distant.
"We just needed to reclaim some joy," said Dusti Groskreutz, president of Reunion Tower. "Put some joy and hope out there. So this year we built the show, it's meant to be viewed from far away."
Crews will spend the next few days setting up all the pyrotechnics.
"There's over 93 different firing stations on the ball, so that takes a lot of coordination and effort," Groskreutz said.
The 10-minute spectacular can be safely seen across Dallas on New Year's Eve. It starts at 11:59 p.m.
MORE FROM CBSDFW
for more features.