By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Because of the pandemic, there are no public events in the city of Chicago for New Year’s Eve, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said celebrating the new year will be a change from previous years.

“It has to be a different New Year’s Eve. Just as it was a different Thanksgiving. We saw a little uptick, meaning a little surge post-Thanksgiving. We don’t want to see that, again, either with Christmas, and we don’t definitely don’t want to see that again as New Year’s,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor said despite recent progress in keeping the COVID numbers from surging in a catastrophic way, Lightfoot said COVID restrictions still need to be followed.

“We don’t want to take any steps back because people feel the vaccine is here, it’s New Year’s, I’m going to gather in large groups, I’m going to not wear a mask, not going to social distance. That would be a  truly tragic mistake,” the mayor said.

Lightfoot said despite the COVID vaccine rollout making its way to hospitals and long term care centers throughout the city, people still need to adhere to preventative measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“My message to Chicago is to remain vigilant. We’ve come a long way on this journey together and we cannot let up now. We got to continue through the end of the year. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but as I’ve said now multiple times stealing a line from somebody else, we’re still very much in that tunnel,” Lightfoot said.

As for her personal plans, she said it is the birthday of Chicago First Lady Amy Eshleman and she will be celebrating with her wife.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff