New Year’s Day Rose Parade set to go despite virus surge

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The New Year’s Day Rose Parade and Rose Bowl college football game between Ohio State and Utah remained on track Friday despite surging cases of COVID-19, which forced the cancellation of the 2021 parade.

The 133rd edition of the Pasadena, California, tradition was scheduled to feature actor Levar Burton as grand marshal, 20 marching bands, 18 equestrian units and dozens of floats reflecting the theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”

In a change due to soaring infections, Kaiser Permanente said its float, “A Healthier Future,” would not have 20 “front-line medical heroes” riding or walking alongside.

“We must prioritize the health and safety of our front-line medical staff and ensure we are able to treat patients during this recent surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant,” the health care network said.

Spectators planning on camping out overnight were allowed to begin staking out spots along sidewalks at noon Friday. Pasadena authorities urged people to wear masks and avoid mingling with anyone outside their own groups.

Ticketholders for parade bleachers and the Rose Bowl game will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours, and masks will be required for everyone age 2 and up, the Tournament of Roses Association said.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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