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A much quieter time to ring in the New Year for 2021

This year looks vastly different than it did a year ago.

ATLANTA — Health officials are reminding people that though the calendar is moving from 2020 into 2021, the pandemic is still with us.

Last year, Glenwood Avenue in the East Atlanta Village neighborhood was closed off as people flooded the streets and businesses. 

This year, there's no "Rooster Drop," no crowds, no music.

Korina Cotter, a bartender at Holy Taco in the East Atlanta Village, says that even with the restaurant doing dine in and take out, it seems people are choosing to stay at home this year.

"This has been a hot spot, where the patio would be completely full and all that. Without any of that going on, it's a lot quieter," she said. "We don't have as many people out and about in the village."

Cotter worked last year, and says they stayed busy.

SaraJane Foltz was one of a few people still out on New Year's Eve this year, but she was sitting outside with just one friend.

"I kind of expected it, but (I'm) mostly ready to ring out 2020 and enjoy 2021," Foltz said.

Safety is what local leaders have preached, leading into the holidays.

Gov. Brian Kemp stressed it on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, DeKalb County used its Emergency Alert System to push a message out to cellphones, urging people to stay at home.

By the looks of things in the East Atlanta Village area, it may have worked.

"Safety's been our number one priority through all this," Cotter said. "Hopefully we'll be back to normal and have the fireworks and stuff. I know we miss it."

This week, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also stressed the responsibility of business owners to follow guidelines and keep people safe.