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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show postponed as Covid surges in New York

A new date for the annual show has not been announced. Organizers blamed the rise in the omicron variant.
Image: Westminster Dog Show
Striker, a cocker spaniel, competes in the sporting group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Feb. 13, 2018.Mary Altaffer / AP file

For the second year in a row, the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be postponed because of Covid-19, organizers said Wednesday.

The event will be held later “due to the surge of the omicron variant in New York City,” it said. The show, its 146th, was to have been held in the city in late January. A new date has not been announced.

The dog show is usually held in February, but this year it was moved to June and held outdoors in Tarrytown, New York, because of Covid-19.

Case numbers are surging in New York City and the state, along with the rest of the country, fueled by the more transmissible omicron variant.

About 58,800 new Covid-19 cases were reported Wednesday in New York state, according to NBC News’ count of reports.

The increase prompted officials to scale back the in-person New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday that whether people need to change their plans “really depends on what your plans are.”

“If your plans are to go to a 40- to 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy New Year, I would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that,” he said at a briefing.

Small gatherings with family and friends at homes where people are vaccinated with booster shots present a low risk, he said.