Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, the founder and director of ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, cautions New Yorkers from throwing a party this year, even if they are not terribly worried about getting sick. “Just the word ‘party’ in and of itself gives me pause,” she said. “This may not be the right time to have such an event, under the conditions where we have such a highly transmissible variant that’s already in our community.”

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