Restaurants, bars take precautions to help ring in 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Restaurants, bars take precautions to help ring in 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across Georgia, many people across the metro found themselves ringing in the new year in a very different fashion than in years past.

Channel 2′s Matt Johnson went to the Battery Atlanta where restaurants and bars are doing everything they can to keep people healthy and safe.

Miakalia Fisher and her family said they were ready to say goodbye to 2020. And they don’t mind safely doing it in a crowd.

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“Obviously we kind of keep our distance and hang out with each other, still go and eat and still live our life,” Fisher said. “Just celebrate in the safest way possible.”

The Battery welcomed people to ring in a much anticipated 2021.

Social distancing and masks were encouraged, and Johnson saw a mix of that outdoors Wednesday night. The party included a balloon drop, midnight champagne and a virtual ball drop.

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Across metro Atlanta, the pandemic has forced businesses to change one of the biggest nights of the year.

“It’s been very difficult for people to unite in a physical sense,” said Dahlio Cheatam, with Taffer’s Tavern in Alpharetta.

At Taffer’s, they say masks, hand washing and distancing helped people safely come together for an important night.

“For us to come together and celebrate on this night as we go into the new year is extremely important for us,” Cheatam said.

The holiday season has led to a record spike in COVID-19 cases in Georgia. Many doctors were hoping more people avoid in-person parties.

“The best way to celebrate this year is by staying home,” said Dr. Michael Crupain with Sharecare.

Crupain said if you have to go to a party indoors, you can do more than wear a mask.

“You have to have good air filtration or ideally opening windows and doors to let that air flow and take the virus out,” Crupain said.

As for Fisher, she hopes the changes we’re seeing this New Year’s Eve won’t be needed at all this time next year.

“I’m definitely excited to see 2021 and hope it holds a lot more normalcy for everyone,” she said.

Some COVID-19 vaccines not being used, sitting in freezers in areas of Georgia