Partygoers 'looking forward' to Raleigh NYE celebration despite record-surge in COVID-19 cases

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- New Year's Eve festivities are returning to Downtown Raleigh and Fayetteville Street is hosting a big celebration.

Partygoers will be required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests to enter.

Businesses along Fayetteville are ready to help folks toast the end of 2021.

"Super looking forward to it. It's going to be great," said Anchor Bar bartender Darius Foxworth. "It's going to be very lucrative. A lot of people are going to be coming through."

Thousands of people are planning to celebrate.

"I'd love to come down," said Apex resident Ellie McGuire.

"(I'll be) wearing a mask, whatever it takes," said Raleigh resident Cal Oakley. "It seems to be really lively and I kind of enjoy the atmosphere of it."

The party is about to kick off as COVID cases are sharply rising.

There has been a big jump in the last three or four days, with numbers from Thursday setting a single-day record for North Carolina.

Duke Hospital has double the numbers of patients being treated and Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Cameron Wolfe said we have yet to see the full impact of Christmas cases.

"We are going to be on our knees here in the next couple weeks if this trend continues. That is the steepest increase in patients we've had at any point in the pandemic," said Wolfe.

Garner resident Shante Purvis is heeding the warning and staying home.

"I'm still kind of nervous with COVID and everything so still trying to keep my distance from the large crowds," she said.

Mako Medical will have a booth set up for the Fayetteville Street celebration and will be offering the COVID-19 test for a $30 charge.
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