The 2022 Grammy Awards will be postponed due to the recent surge of Covid-19 infections. The Omicron variant has propelled cases to the highest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic.
The Recording Academy and CBS released a joint statement on Wednesday announcing the postponement of the show and their reasoning concerning the current state of the pandemic:
“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy® and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Show. The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night® on a future date, which will be announced soon.”
The star-studded music industry awards ceremony was also postponed last year due to concerns over Covid. In 2021, the show was scheduled for January 31, 2021 and was subsequently pushed to March 14, 2021 because of a huge increase in Covid cases in Los Angeles. The show was also transferred from the Crypto.com Arena to the Los Angeles Convention Center so that attendees could properly social distance.
2022’s event was also expected to take place at the Crypto.com Arena and be aired on CBS. Late-night talk show personality Trevor Noah will host the ceremony this year.
Researchers find that Omicron is milder
Officials are nervous that the prestigious award ceremony will serve as a spreader event for its guests and audience members. The Omicron variant is currently surging across the country, causing record numbers of daily infections. But research has shown that the Omicron variant affects the upper respiratory tract, which causes milder symptoms than other variants of the virus, according to World Health Official Abdi Mahamud.
Other variants of the virus impact all areas of the respiratory system, particularly the lungs, which can cause more serious cases of the virus as well as pneumonia, Mahamud stated on Tuesday.
Evidence suggests that omicron impacts mainly the upper respiratory system, however, meaning that while it is much more infectious, it results in less severe cases of the virus and fewer deaths.
“It can be good news, but we really require more studies to prove that,” Mahamud stated.
Omicron causes milder infections, yet is highly infectious
The variant has spread throughout the world since it was first identified in November, bringing with it increased transmission rates to many of the 128 countries where it has been detected.
Although case numbers are elevated in the wake of omicron’s arrival, in many instances, deaths and hospitalizations as a result of the variant remain relatively low.