York cancels New Year's Eve White Rose Drop due to COVID-19 surge

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

York City is canceling several city-sponsored holiday events because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Among the canceled events is the New Year’s Eve White Rose Drop in Continental Square and the New Year’s Eve Children’s Balloon Drop at Voni Grimes Gym.

A city news release said officials are concerned the events will add to the already growing caseloads in York County and add strain to local hospitals, which are operating above 100% capacity. 

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"While we know that these events are community favorites, these events have the potential of bringing very large crowds together to celebrate, exacerbating this fourth surge of COVID-19," the news release states. 

China Bowman, 8, of York City, center, and other children are cascaded by balloons during the ChildrenÕs New Year's Eve Countdown at Voni Grimes Gym Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. The event included family-friendly entertainment culminating with the balloon drop at 8 p.m. Bill Kalina photo

York County's WellSpan York Hospital had 186 COVID-19 patients as of Saturday, and spokesman Ryan Coyle confirmed that all WellSpan locations are delaying nonemergency care and some patients are being triaged in waiting rooms as they wait for hospital beds. 

More:Hospitals grapple with limited capacity ahead of anticipated omicron surge

In addition to canceling public events, the city announced changes to several operations, which will take effect Wednesday and continue until further notice. 

Other than the Treasurer's Office customer windows, City Hall business will be conducted by appointment only. Residents and business owners who have essential business with the city should continue to communicate with their points of contact. Residents with general concerns may email mayorsoffice@yorkcity.org or call 717-849-2221.

When visiting City Hall for an appointment, masks are required for all visitors and employees. Masks will be provided to visitors who don't have their own.

Critical city services including police, fire and the wastewater treatment plant will continue to operate 24/7, though extra precautions may be taken to promote proper health protocols and to protect all city of York employees during this period.

The City of York Bureau of Health and Health Clinic remain fully operational, and assistance is available by appointment.

Snow plowing and snow emergency enforcement will occur as needed. During this period, parking enforcement will continue, including enforcement of parking meters. 

— Reach Erin Bamer at ebamer@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @ErinBamer.