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'We Need To Think About Other People': Health Care Experts Advise Safe Gatherings For NYE

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The year is coming to a close, but unfortunately, our battle with COVID is not. Health care experts advise  people to safely gather for New Year's Eve celebrations. 

"I'm going to have just a few friends over and we're all taking COVID-19 rapid tests before everybody comes over," said Naomi Hofferber of Minneapolis.

"Everything considering, I think we're going to try to stay in as much as possible kind of just hang out with people we know," said Cassidy Stricklett, who was visiting from Ohio.

If COVID-19 concerns won't keep you in, then maybe the subzero temperatures might.

"I'm always ready to bundle up, but it's just not worth it today," Hofferber said.

While many Minnesotans are hunkered down at home or out and about running errands, health care professionals will be in the ER working.

"We are very, very busy. We're holding multiple intubated ICU patients in the emergency department because all of the ICU beds are full," emergency physician Andie Rowland-Fisher said.

Rowland-Fisher says unless you're vaccinated and boosted it might be a good idea to skip New Year's Eve gatherings.

"Being in a large group of people right now is not a good idea," Rowland-Fisher said. "Omicron is so contagious that if you're in the same house with someone that has it, you are probably going to get it whether you're vaccinated or not."

"You just have to calculate the risk you're willing to take," Rowland-Fisher said.

Rowland-Fisher says if you are going to celebrate, the smaller the group the better. She says if you can get tested before getting together, even better.

"I'm not mad about staying in. I had a cute outfit I kind of wanted to wear out, but it's fine if I just have to wear it in the house," Stricklett said.

"I would love to go out and have a ball. For now, better safe than sorry," Hofferber said.

"This is a point when we need to think about other people and put other people in front of ourselves for the greater good of the community if we're going to get through this," Rowland-Fisher said.

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