FOX's 'New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2022' Canceled amid Rising COVID Cases

New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast, which was set to be hosted by Joel McHale and Ken Jeong live in Times Square for the second year in a row, will no longer happen

Joel mchale and ken jeong
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2022 is yet another major event that's been canceled due to the rising cases of COVID-19 sweeping the country, FOX announced on Tuesday.

"While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for FOX's New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2022, the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards," the network wrote in a statement.

"We will not be moving forward with FOX's New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2022 in New York," the statement continued. "The health and safety of our casts and crews has always been, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance. Replacement programming for New Year's Eve on FOX will be announced in the coming days."

Joel mchale and ken jeong

The show, which was set to be spearheaded by last year's hosts, Joel McHale and Ken Jeong, included "memorable iHeartRadio performances" from Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Billy Idol, Pink, and more.

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Kelly Osbourne was also tapped to serve as a "special correspondent" for the event, which was supposed to take place live from Times Square on New Year's Eve.

The decision comes amid the alarming surge of positive COVID-19 cases hitting the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that the omicron variant is responsible for more than 73 percent of current cases in the country.

On Monday, the CDC said that they were expecting a rise in cases in the "coming days to weeks," and that while breakthrough cases of the omicron variant will likely become more common, the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to get vaccinated and get a booster shot if eligible.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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