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South Florida New Year's Eve Events Still On Despite Omicron Surge

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – To go out or stay in this New Year's Eve? That is the question.

Some people are laying low but many aren't. The surge in omicron cases won't stop the New Year's Eve party in South Florida.

In Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, all events are scheduled to happen.

"People are educated, informed, they can make their own decisions.  If you're not willing to take the risk then don't come down here," says one woman.

After COVID cancellations last year, New Year's Eve events are back on.

"We are 100% sick of COVID," says another woman.

That's a mutual feeling felt by many.

Pankhudi Jain, who's visiting Miami from California, says, "I think at this point we're all really sick of covid.  At least we're not going back into a lockdown and we're still able to do the things we want to do."

In Fort Lauderdale, the New Year's Eve event near Museum of Discovery and Science will be all outdoors.

At Bayfront Park, a concert and firework show is all set and ready to go. There will be masks available for guests as well as sanitizing stations set up throughout the park. In previous years, there's been more than 100,000 people at the event.

However, for the second year in a row, the Big Orange rise is canceled.  The designer of the orange, Steve Carpenter, known as Mr. Neon, and his staff tested positive for COVID19.

"At this point in March it's going to be two years of this.  I don't think we can forget about COVID but we can take the precautions and have the best time we can," says Jain.

Across the Jackson Health System, nurses and doctors are caring for 252 COVID-19 patients.  That number, more than doubling from this time last week.  Across Memorial Health Care System, there are more than 300 positive COVID cases.

"That's a little concerning but people are making the choice at the end of the day, whether they want to participate or not," says Jain.

"It sounds like it's a little different than the previous versions of the virus so we'll see where it goes right," says Brent Blandino of Weston.

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