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COVID-19 Precautions In Place As Pittsburgh Gets Ready To Ring In The New Year

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- First Night is only a couple of days away and preparations are underway.

The ball is set at the corner of Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street for New Year's Eve.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust said it designed this year to be a safe experience.

It had to be virtual last year.

"We really trying to mitigate risk and put health and safety first," Cultural Trust Director of Festival Management Sarah Aziz said.

She said many of the activities will be outside. This includes the giant inflatable rabbit and several performing artists.

"The indoor venues that are open are smaller capacity. Proof of vaccination is required. Masking is required," Aziz said.

The use of the Cultural District allows for people to spread out and space out. It's recommended you have a mask outside.

"We've got 14 blocks of the cultural district. There's plenty of space. Plenty of room to social distance," Aziz told KDKA.

Allegheny Health Network's doctor of internal medicine Dr. Brian Lamb said the outside attractions would be one of the safer events.

"If you can forgo the inside activities completely, probably the safest bet," he said over Zoom.

If you do plan to have inside festivities, limit the number of people for time you spent inside.

"If you're amongst a large crowd, you don't know everyone and you don't know everyone and their vaccination status. That's really going to put you at risk," Dr. Lamb said.

At this point, Dr. Lamb said the hospital system is not overwhelmed, and they would like to keep it that way.

Pittsburgh Public Safety plans to be out as well. They say in addition to their substation on Liberty Avenue, they will have resources at Penn Avenue and Seventh Street.


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