• The San Juan Daily Star

New Year’s fest planned for worldwide broadcast switches to virtual

By The Star Staff

The huge New Year’s bash slated to take place in the Convention Center District in Miramar, which was going to be aired worldwide, will now be held virtually because of the sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 infections on the island, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced Wednesday.

“As I have indicated, I am vigilant in the face of the situation with COVID-19 and the new Omicron variant that is already present on our island,” the governor said in a La Fortaleza statement. “As is public knowledge, the rate of positivity has continued to increase, which has led me to establish new mandates to reduce infections, as well as to require booster-dose vaccination in the health and education sectors.”

Taking into account the current situation, Pierluisi decided that the end-of-the-year event in the Convention District be held virtually “so that everyone in Puerto Rico and the rest of the world can safely enjoy it.”

“This judicious and reasonable decision will not affect the participation of performers, or the television broadcast to more than 18 million viewers nationally and worldwide,” he said. “The Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event will continue to air on ABC, while De Puerto Rico Para el Mundo will air on Telemundo Puerto Rico.”

At press time, the director of the Convention District, Mariela Vallines, was expected to provide details to publicize what the event will be like without an in-person audience.

The news comes as the latest numbers from the island Health Department show more than 900 new positive cases of COVID and a hike in the number of hospitalizations.

“As Puerto Ricans we have done very well, we have achieved that more than 78% of the population is vaccinated and until a few days ago our level of positivity was less than 2%,” the governor said. “Vaccines, especially booster shots, have proven effective. Still, we cannot lower our guard, as this virus will continue with us and we have to take care of ourselves.”

“My exhortation continues to be vaccination because it is the solution, and that we take the precautionary measures to which we are already accustomed, such as the use of a mask, the use of disinfectant and distancing ourselves,” he added. “We all deserve a safe and family Christmas and I trust we can have it.”

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