The 146th edition of the Westminster Dog Show, a midwinter tradition in New York City for more than a century, has been postponed amid fears about Omicron’s spread.
“The health and safety of all participants in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are paramount,” the Westminster Kennel Club said in a statement on Wednesday. “We appreciate the community’s continued interest and support as we delay the show to a time when we can safely convene.”
The event had been scheduled to take place in late January. Officials did not announce a new date for the show but said they planned to hold it sometime in 2022.
Officials postponed this year’s show to June from February over concerns about the virus. The show was moved from Madison Square Garden, its longtime home, and held outdoors at Lyndhurst, a riverside estate in Tarrytown, N.Y., north of the city. No outside spectators were allowed in 2021.
The changes to the last show were necessary, organizers said, to ensure the event could take place and still comply with the “ever-changing government restrictions.”
Cases continue to climb in New York City, averaging more than 23,000 new cases a day, according to a New York Times database. The spread of two highly contagious variants — Omicron and Delta — have led to record case counts nationwide, disrupting travel plans and exacerbating worker shortages.