NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New Year’s Eve party in Times Square is moving forward as planned, for now.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says city health officials are closely monitoring the COVID situation ahead of the holidays.

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“We’re going to make that decision based on the data and the science,” he told reporters Thursday. “We’re going to keep looking at it as it gets closer.”

COVID VACCINE

De Blasio said the fact the event is outdoors and guests must be fully vaccinated is “a game changer.”

READ MORE: Biden Administration To Give Out 400 Million Free N95 Masks

“If at any point we need to alter the plan, we will,” he added.

Last year’s ball-drop was open to invited essential workers and special guests only.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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The mayor and health commissioner held a briefing Thursday, where they outlined their approach to tackling the rising case numbers.

CBSNewYork Team