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New Yorkers have welcomed 2022, watching the famous ball drop as the outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio danced with his wife in his final act as leader of the city.

To the strains of Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’, the crowd danced and cheered in Times Square, as the fireworks exploded and the confetti fell. 

De Blasio’s term ended at the stroke of midnight, and his successor Eric Adams was sworn in, holding aloft a framed photo of his mother.

His son Jordan held a family bible, and his partner Tracey was on the other side of him. 

The unpopular outgoing mayor was seen waltzing with his wife Chirlane McCray wearing a face mask, in accordance with his own rule, but many in the crowd ignored his mask mandate. 

The crowds gathered to watch the famous ball drop, and move forward into 2022 – despite the surge in Omicron cases, and concern from health experts. 

De Blasio scaled down the event, with only a quarter of the usual attendees – but insisted it must go ahead, saying it will ‘show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this.’

New York on New Year’s Eve saw a record of 76,555 COVID cases.

Despite this, thousands of partygoers huddled in the square wearing typical celebration garb including funky hats, bead necklaces, and 2022 glasses.

The city has limited the number of people it lets into Times Square to witness the six-ton ball, encrusted with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals, descend above the crowd. 

Lines of traffic clogged the city’s streets throughout the day in preparation for the mega-holiday event. 

Public officials cautioned on Friday against uncontrolled celebrations due to the surging case numbers. 

The popular ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022′ kicked off at 8pm ET on ABC, featuring performances from artists including Mariah Carey.    

Officials said those attending the spectacle would have to wear masks and show proof of vaccination over caution of the widespread infections.

Revelers are seen in New York City's Times Square, ignoring the mask mandate promised by Bill de Blasio

Revelers are seen in New York City's Times Square, ignoring the mask mandate promised by Bill de Blasio

Revelers are seen in New York City’s Times Square, ignoring the mask mandate promised by Bill de Blasio

Rap artist and actor LL Cool J was supposed to be among the performers taking the stage in Times Square, but pulled out of the event because he had tested positive for COVID. 

Performers taking the stage included headliner KT Tunstall, a duet between Ja Rule and Ashanti, a collection of songs by Journey as well as performances by artists such as Chloe and KAROL G.   

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have soared to their highest levels on record at over 265,000 per day on average. 

New York City itself reported a record number of new, confirmed cases — nearly 44,000 — on Wednesday and a similar number Thursday, according to New York state figures.

Other major US cities including Boston, Las Vegas, Nashville and Philadelphia were also seen ringing in the new year with large crowds seen celebrating.

This comes after the nation smashed a global infection record on Thursday as 647,067 new cases were reported.

Revelers watch the three-hour mark fireworks in Times Square as they await for the ball to drop at midnight

Revelers watch the three-hour mark fireworks in Times Square as they await for the ball to drop at midnight

Revelers watch the three-hour mark fireworks in Times Square as they await for the ball to drop at midnight

Crowds continue to gather in participation of the New Year's Eve ball drop

Crowds continue to gather in participation of the New Year's Eve ball drop

Crowds continue to gather in participation of the New Year’s Eve ball drop

Revelers donned in New Year's Eve celebratory garb wave in excitement

Revelers donned in New Year's Eve celebratory garb wave in excitement

Revelers donned in New Year’s Eve celebratory garb wave in excitement

The New Year's Eve celebration kicks off in NYC's Time Square in anticipation of the iconic ball drop at midnight to ring in 2022

The New Year's Eve celebration kicks off in NYC's Time Square in anticipation of the iconic ball drop at midnight to ring in 2022

The New Year’s Eve celebration kicks off in NYC’s Time Square in anticipation of the iconic ball drop at midnight to ring in 2022

The New York celebration continues despite the surge in state COVID cases which saw a recent record of 76,555 on Friday

The New York celebration continues despite the surge in state COVID cases which saw a recent record of 76,555 on Friday

The New York celebration continues despite the surge in state COVID cases which saw a recent record of 76,555 on Friday

Mariah Carey performs at Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022

Mariah Carey performs at Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022

Mariah Carey performs at Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022

'New Year's Rockin' Eve' hosts Ryan Seacrest and Liza Koshy kick off the celebrations in Times Square

'New Year's Rockin' Eve' hosts Ryan Seacrest and Liza Koshy kick off the celebrations in Times Square

‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ hosts Ryan Seacrest and Liza Koshy kick off the celebrations in Times Square 

Thousands of spectators pack in for the New Years Eve celebration in Times Square despite the surge in COVID cases and the presence of the new Omicron variant

Thousands of spectators pack in for the New Years Eve celebration in Times Square despite the surge in COVID cases and the presence of the new Omicron variant

Thousands of spectators pack in for the New Years Eve celebration in Times Square despite the surge in COVID cases and the presence of the new Omicron variant 

Event spectators prepare for the world-famous ball drop event which had been closed to public last year because of the pandemic

Despite the surge of attendees, COVID protocols are continuing to be put in place with masks and full vaccination status requried for entry

Despite the surge of attendees, COVID protocols are continuing to be put in place with masks and full vaccination status requried for entry

Despite the surge of attendees, COVID protocols are continuing to be put in place with masks and full vaccination status requried for entry 

Spectators wear traditional New Year's Eve garb including 2022 themed glasses, hats and scarves

Spectators wear traditional New Year's Eve garb including 2022 themed glasses, hats and scarves

Spectators wear traditional New Year’s Eve garb including 2022 themed glasses, hats and scarves

The crowd will however remain reduced due to the effects of the Omicron surge hitting NYC and the rest of the US

The crowd will however remain reduced due to the effects of the Omicron surge hitting NYC and the rest of the US

The crowd will however remain reduced due to the effects of the Omicron surge hitting NYC and the rest of the US

As part of the attendance requirement, spectators must remain masked and have proof of vaccination

As part of the attendance requirement, spectators must remain masked and have proof of vaccination

As part of the attendance requirement, spectators must remain masked and have proof of vaccination

Masked NYPD officers pose in 2022 glasses at the Times Square subway station

Masked NYPD officers pose in 2022 glasses at the Times Square subway station

Masked NYPD officers pose in 2022 glasses at the Times Square subway station 

Couple Alexandra and Jose Vargas share a New Year's Eve kiss in Times Square

Couple Alexandra and Jose Vargas share a New Year's Eve kiss in Times Square

Couple Alexandra and Jose Vargas share a New Year’s Eve kiss in Times Square 

The New Year’s celebration comes after last year’s celebration had been closed to the public because of the pandemic.   

‘We are very excited to welcome back visitors to Times Square this New Year’s Eve,’ said Tom Harris, the president of the Times Square Alliance. 

‘Our goal is to have a safe and responsible event for the world to see.’   

Officials with the NYPD are continuing to enforce public health safety for the event due to the rising number of cases in the city.  

Authorities will check to ensure attendees are adhering to COVID guidelines by wearing masks as well as checking their vaccination status upon arrival.  

These new security measures have been formed to protect the health of those in attendance as compared to past New Year’s events.

However, officers will continue to track and monitor potential terrorist as well as other security threats if necessary. 

But 2022 begins just as the year prior began — with the pandemic clouding an already uncertain future.

Doubts swirled about whether the city would have to cancel this year’s bash, as the city posted record numbers of COVID cases in the days leading to it, even as some cities like Atlanta had decided to cancel their own celebrations.   

The 2022 sign that will be lit on top of a building on New Year's Eve is displayed in Times Square preparation for the event

The 2022 sign that will be lit on top of a building on New Year's Eve is displayed in Times Square preparation for the event

The 2022 sign that will be lit on top of a building on New Year’s Eve is displayed in Times Square preparation for the event

Masked NYC partygoers bear 2022 glasses and fun 'Happy New Year' headbands

Masked NYC partygoers bear 2022 glasses and fun 'Happy New Year' headbands

Masked NYC partygoers bear 2022 glasses and fun ‘Happy New Year’ headbands

Revelers brace the NYC winter cold in anticipation of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square

Revelers brace the NYC winter cold in anticipation of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square

Revelers brace the NYC winter cold in anticipation of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square 

Spectators will continue to swarm in to watch the 6-ton ball, encrusted with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals descend above them

Spectators will continue to swarm in to watch the 6-ton ball, encrusted with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals descend above them

Spectators will continue to swarm in to watch the 6-ton ball, encrusted with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals descend above them 

Internet sensation Liza Koshy is co-hosting 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' with Ryan Seacrest

Internet sensation Liza Koshy is co-hosting 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' with Ryan Seacrest

Internet sensation Liza Koshy is co-hosting ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ with Ryan Seacrest

Pop singer Ashanti will join in and perform for the NYC New Year’s Eve celebration

Rapper Ja Rule rehearses before the start of the New Year's Eve celebration on Times Square

Rapper Ja Rule rehearses before the start of the New Year's Eve celebration on Times Square

Rapper Ja Rule rehearses before the start of the New Year’s Eve celebration on Times Square 

The Sino-American Friendship Association presents a Chinese cultural performance from Henan, China for the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration

The Sino-American Friendship Association presents a Chinese cultural performance from Henan, China for the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration

The Sino-American Friendship Association presents a Chinese cultural performance from Henan, China for the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joins in on the festivities

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joins in on the festivities

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joins in on the festivities 

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of new cases in America are of the Omicron variant, which was first discovered last month by South African health officials.

The U.S. is now averaging 300,387 new Covid cases per day, a pandemic record and the first time the 300,000 mark has been reached in America.  

New York state recorded 76,500 COVID cases on Friday, up from yesterday’s record of 67,000, governor Kathy Hochul announced. 

Currently there are 3,925 New Yorkers in hospital and 80 people died yesterday from Covid, the governor said.

However, the surge in cases has not stopped the celebration from continuing with the hopes of a mild year with COVID in store. 

‘I don’t believe in shutdowns,’ de Blasio told the Today show on Thursday. ‘We have to fight our way through this.’ De Blasio’s statement is in sharp contrast to his actions taken during the pandemic, when New York City shut down for months in 2020.   

Lines of traffic jampacked the city streets throughout the day in preparation for the mega-holiday event

Lines of traffic jampacked the city streets throughout the day in preparation for the mega-holiday event

Lines of traffic jampacked the city streets throughout the day in preparation for the mega-holiday event

The New Year's Eve Ball is illuminated and elevated near a '2022 is here' sign for a final test ahead of New Year's Eve on Friday

The New Year's Eve Ball is illuminated and elevated near a '2022 is here' sign for a final test ahead of New Year's Eve on Friday

The New Year’s Eve Ball is illuminated and elevated near a ‘2022 is here’ sign for a final test ahead of New Year’s Eve on Friday

Teddy, a 12-year-old miniature poodle wearing 2022 glasses, sits on West 47th Street ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday afternoon

Teddy, a 12-year-old miniature poodle wearing 2022 glasses, sits on West 47th Street ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday afternoon

Teddy, a 12-year-old miniature poodle wearing 2022 glasses, sits on West 47th Street ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday afternoon

Revelers take photos with Times Square staple The Naked Cowboy as they prepare for tonight's ball drop to ring in 2022

Revelers take photos with Times Square staple The Naked Cowboy as they prepare for tonight's ball drop to ring in 2022

Revelers take photos with Times Square staple The Naked Cowboy as they prepare for tonight’s ball drop to ring in 2022

The crowd starts getting pumped up, including a man who pulls down his mask to cheer ahead of tonight's New Year Eve celebrations in Times Square

The crowd starts getting pumped up, including a man who pulls down his mask to cheer ahead of tonight's New Year Eve celebrations in Times Square

The crowd starts getting pumped up, including a man who pulls down his mask to cheer ahead of tonight’s New Year Eve celebrations in Times Square

Revelers wait in social distancing pens in Times Square ahead of celebrating New Year's Eve on Friday as crowds begin to form

Revelers wait in social distancing pens in Times Square ahead of celebrating New Year's Eve on Friday as crowds begin to form

Revelers wait in social distancing pens in Times Square ahead of celebrating New Year’s Eve on Friday as crowds begin to form

A couple wearing face masks and funky hats look on ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday

A couple wearing face masks and funky hats look on ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday

A couple wearing face masks and funky hats look on ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square on Friday

New York City’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams, is scheduled to take his oath in Times Square soon after the ball drop and he expressed hope Thursday that 2022 would be ‘a new beginning of our resiliency.’ 

Mayor-elect Adams also doubled down on the New Year’s celebration, announcing that he will hold his swearing-in ceremony during the festivities after canceling his in-person inauguration that was set for Saturday.

College students and sisters Mary and Vanessa Anyakwo were guardedly optimistic, too, as they took in Times Square on an outing from their home in suburban Elmsford, New York.

‘I feel a lot more hopeful than I was last year because I think we have a lot more facilities’ to handle the pandemic, said Mary, 20.

Vanessa, 22, pointed to the crowds. ‘By this time last year,’ she said, ‘I didn’t think it would be like this.’

People gather at the security entrance in Times Square ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations. Revelers are required to show proof of vaccination and be masked

People gather at the security entrance in Times Square ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations. Revelers are required to show proof of vaccination and be masked

People gather at the security entrance in Times Square ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Revelers are required to show proof of vaccination and be masked 

A woman shows proof of vaccination against COVID to enter Times Square for the ball drop

A woman shows proof of vaccination against COVID to enter Times Square for the ball drop

A woman shows proof of vaccination against COVID to enter Times Square for the ball drop

An NYPD officer performs a security check on a person at Times Square before tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations

An NYPD officer performs a security check on a person at Times Square before tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations

An NYPD officer performs a security check on a person at Times Square before tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations  

NYPD officers perform security checks in Times Square where 15,000 revelers will ring in the New Year by watching the ball drop

NYPD officers perform security checks in Times Square where 15,000 revelers will ring in the New Year by watching the ball drop

NYPD officers perform security checks in Times Square where 15,000 revelers will ring in the New Year by watching the ball drop

People wear their 2022 glasses as they prepare to ring in the new year at the world-famous Times Square ball drop

People wear their 2022 glasses as they prepare to ring in the new year at the world-famous Times Square ball drop

People wear their 2022 glasses as they prepare to ring in the new year at the world-famous Times Square ball drop

Spectators flash the peace sign while wearing their face masks, 2022 glasses and festive hats as they prepare to ring in the new year

Spectators flash the peace sign while wearing their face masks, 2022 glasses and festive hats as they prepare to ring in the new year

Spectators flash the peace sign while wearing their face masks, 2022 glasses and festive hats as they prepare to ring in the new year 

An NYPD officer stands next to a signage encouraging people to wear masks ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square as COVID-19 infections rise nationwide

An NYPD officer stands next to a signage encouraging people to wear masks ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square as COVID-19 infections rise nationwide

An NYPD officer stands next to a signage encouraging people to wear masks ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square as COVID-19 infections rise nationwide 

An empty Times Square that will soon be packed with 15,000 spectators who will watch the ball drop to celebrate the new year

An empty Times Square that will soon be packed with 15,000 spectators who will watch the ball drop to celebrate the new year

An empty Times Square that will soon be packed with 15,000 spectators who will watch the ball drop to celebrate the new year

Final preparations and set up for tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square amid a huge Omicron surge that has overtaken New York City

Final preparations and set up for tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square amid a huge Omicron surge that has overtaken New York City

Final preparations and set up for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square amid a huge Omicron surge that has overtaken New York City

People being gathering at West 47th Street ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, a huge tourist attraction that brings thousands of people to NYC every year

People being gathering at West 47th Street ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, a huge tourist attraction that brings thousands of people to NYC every year

People being gathering at West 47th Street ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square, a huge tourist attraction that brings thousands of people to NYC every year 

NYPD officers stand guard at Times Square ahead of tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations expected to bring out 15.000 revelers

NYPD officers stand guard at Times Square ahead of tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations expected to bring out 15.000 revelers

NYPD officers stand guard at Times Square ahead of tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations expected to bring out 15.000 revelers 

Paulo Brügger, a banker from Zurich, Switzerland, reflected on a world fed-up with having to endure wave after wave of the virus a year after 2021 dawned with hopes bottled up in vaccine vials.

His optimism was tempered by the world’s new reality that the pandemic would linger into the new year.

‘A lot of people are asking themselves now, ‘Is this going to be like this every year — when we get into the cold season, we have a new variant, and we are back to square one?’’ said Brügger, 55. 

Still, he was ‘extremely optimistic’ about 2022, partly because of vaccines and new therapies against COVID-19 and partly, he said with a chuckle, ‘because it can’t be worse than the last two years.’ 

Despite reservations about COVID, some attendees were simply thrilled to see the New Year’s Eve ball drop live in Times Square.

‘Since you are a kid, you can see this kind of shows on the TV, so you’re really excited because you’re like, OK, I want to be there some day, and now we’re living the experience,’ Colombia native Maria Fernanda told CBS. 

Other US cities have continued celebrations as well despite the recent surge in cases.

 

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