Sundance Film Festival scraps in-person events, citing Covid

i24NEWS - AFP

3 min read
In this file photo taken on January 25, 2019 the Egyptian Theatre marquee on Main Street is seen during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, US.
Rich Fury/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFPIn this file photo taken on January 25, 2019 the Egyptian Theatre marquee on Main Street is seen during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, US.

Organizers say 'in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year'

The Sundance film festival on Wednesday canceled all in-person events due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant, shifting all of its indie movie premieres and events online.

"Despite the most ambitious protocols, the omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country," organizers for the event explained in a statement.

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"And so, today we're announcing: the Festival's in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year."

The United States is facing a surge of new infections across the country, driven by the omicron variant - spurring mass flight cancellations and prompting a number of US schools to weigh a return to remote classes.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated on Tuesday that omicron accounted for 95.4 percent of all US Covid cases on January 1, according to Reuters.

Approximately one out of every five Covid-related deaths reported globally comes from the US, who now leads the world in the average number of daily fatalities caused by the virus.

Additionally, the number of infections within the country is now at its peak, according to statistics from the Reuters Covid-19 Tracker.

On Monday, the US announced a record 1 million new daily Covid infections within the state - surpassing daily totals reported by every other country in the world.