'Not a risk I feel like I can take': Many Bay Area residents opting out of NYE plans

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- New Year's Eve is quickly approaching, a time usually reserved for some of the year's biggest parties -- But with the surge of recent COVID cases, there are major concerns here in the Bay Area and across the country.

"It's just not a risk I feel like I can take and I'm really bummed about it!"

Those are Bryana Curtis's thoughts on this year's New Year's Eve.

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It's usually a night full of fireworks and parties, but for Bryana, not this year. She is traveling to a wedding in two weeks so she will not be joining friends at a large NYE party in Napa due to COVID concerns.

"I'm vaccinated, I'm not afraid of getting COVID, I'm not worried about that part, I just can't afford to be down right now. I just don't have time to stay at home for 5 to 10 days if I get it," says Curtis.

Sonoma County officials are hoping that others use caution too, and have issued indoor recommendations for New Year's Eve.

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Besides gathering with people who are vaccinated and boosted, they recommend keeping gatherings small and short, wearing well-fitting or surgical masks, ventilating the location well, testing before gathering, and not going to a party if you think you may be sick.

"We've seen case rates spike after every holiday in the past two years," says Sonoma County representative Matt Brown who continued by saying, "Look at this variant, we haven't seen this type of transmission."

Many we spoke with online say they are heeding the warnings.

"I have too many friends calling me saying 'my husband has COVID,' or 'my kids have COVID,' I'm just like 'yeah I'm staying home,'" said Angela Cirillo of Oakland.

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While counties require indoor masking, not everyone is confident that that will happen at New Year's Eve parties.

"We all have the right intention, wearing a mask inside, but then there's champagne, and there's food, and you can't eat and drink with a mask. I was really looking forward to this, really looking forward to being out and about getting dressed up you know, not doing another New Year's at home, but it just doesn't feel like the responsible thing to do right now so I'm just sad," says Curtis.

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