MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — New Year’s Eve looks very different this year in most parts of the country.
In New York, no pedestrians are allowed in Times Square.
On the West Coast in California, public health officials warned of stricter stay-at-home orders on New Years Eve. Officials in Los Angeles even threatened to turn off water to establishments breaking the rules.
However in Florida, despite 17,192 new COVID-19 cases announced on New Year’s Eve, the parties raged on in cities like Miami Beach that have limited restrictions.
“We are not surprised that everything is open but there is no social distancing at all and people are packing together. No one cares,” said Philip Farenholtz, Miami Beach visitor.
It was a much tamer situation in Chicago where a drive-in New Years celebration and live concert is planned.
“You space everybody apart so you’ve got ten feet between the cars. The cars are spaced. Everyone has fun. If you want to stay in your car, you can still listen and watch. The sound and light system are incredible,” said DJ Julian Perez.
In Rhode Island, there is a 10 p.m. curfew local time and indoor events have a limit of only fifteen people.
Even planners say most their customers have cancelled.
“When the restrictions went down to fifteen they were reluctant to move forward. We have lost over five million dollars over the last year and laid off close to 200 people,” said Kate DeCosta, the Newport Experience.
It’s an economic hit in states that are shutdown but infectious disease doctors say it is necessary.
“We have been doing this for almost 9 to 10 months. And we have to continue to be very vigilant. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Dr. Henry Anyimadu, infectious disease specialist.