CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, Chicago is moving forward with its big New Year’s Eve celebration.
It means a lot of fireworks as well as a lot of precautions.
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The city will ring New Years Friday night with what is billed as the largest fireworks display in city history, with multiple displays along a 1.5 mile stretch of the Chicago River and the edge of the lake.
At midnight, fireworks will be launched just south of Navy Pier as well as seven locations along the Chicago River, including LaSalle and State streets.
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the decision Because the city’s New Year’s Eve festivities are held outdoors and spread over such a large area, she is confident the city is taking appropriate precautions to limit the spread of the virus.
“Let’s keep in mind that it’s on the outside, and that there was a conscious decision made to not only obviously be on the outside, but to spread it out so that we don’t have massive crowds gathering in one place, ”she said.
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Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady noted that while the city has touted this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks as the largest in city history, the festivities are held outdoors, where the risk of virus transmission is lower, and spread over a 1.5-mile stretch downtown, allowing for greater spacing.