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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin cancels NYE event last week

By Greg Ellison

(Jan. 6, 2022) After Berlin officials decided last Monday to continue plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations, they changed course last Thursday and cancelled the downtown festivities because of skyrocketing covid positivity rates.

In a statement released last week, Mayor Zack Tyndall said the decision to forego New Year’s Eve in Berlin was reached in consultation with council members and town staff.

“On Monday … the Town decided to continue with the New Year’s Eve activities as planned,” he said. “However, within 48 hours of the … decision to continue with the activities, Worcester County’s covid-19 positivity rate jumped from 14.84 percent  to 21.6 percent.”

To further exacerbate the situation, the rate spike also affected event vendors

“In addition to the spike in covid-19 cases locally, the Town was informed by multiple vendors they could not attend due to their staff being ill or testing positive for COVID-19,” he said.

Economic & Community Development Director Ivy Wells said the sudden unavailability of vendors was a death knell.

“That morning all vendors indicated they were quite ill,” she said.

Despite the short notice, town officials tried to find replacement vendors but were unsuccessful.

“It’s difficult to have an event without sufficient staff,” Wells said.

With time running short, Tyndall discussed the situation with the Town Council, which voted 3-2 to cancel the year-end shindig.

“As a courtesy, the public was informed on social media of the local businesses that planned to remain open for those who wished to celebrate New Year’s Eve,” he said.

Tyndall also noted that some Berlin establishments provided carryout, delivery, or outside dining options.

Wells said protecting the health of residents was first and foremost.

“The events we hold in Berlin are mostly for the locals,” she said. “We listen to what the community says and respond appropriately.”