By Trang Do

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some positive news Tuesday in Philadelphia’s battle against COVID-19. Numbers are on the decline, but the city’s health commissioner is warning that New Year’s Eve gatherings could cause us to lose the ground we’ve gained.

“Our case counts have been falling for the past three weeks, but the case counts are still high and we still need to be careful,” Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday. “We’re not recommending people do gatherings anywhere, certainly not indoors and not outdoors with large crowds of people, because even though outdoors is safer than indoors, you’re still getting people close together.”

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The city has canceled all large-scale events through February, including the iconic New Year’s Day Mummers Parade. Indoor dining is also not an option through at least Jan. 15.

Officials hope these moves will encourage people to stay home to ring in the new year. Dave Pianka, DJ and founder of Philly-based party organizer Making Time, is offering a fun and safe alternative.

“People can have that experience of being in a club and have it safely,” he said.

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For the past 15 years, Making Time has hosted New Year’s Eve parties at Philadelphia clubs with DJs playing futuristic music. This year, the party is going virtual, with eight hours of music from 16 DJs in real life and in holograph form.

Pianka said planning the massive undertaking has shown him an upside to the pandemic.

“We never would have been able to get all these DJs to come to Philadelphia to play on New Year’s Eve in one night, and this New Year’s Eve, we were able to do it,” he said.

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Tickets to Making Time’s virtual New Year’s Eve party are just $12.90. A dollar from every ticket sold will be split between Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity and Plus One for Black Lives Fund.


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