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Omicron spurs cancellations, delays: Adele's Las Vegas residency, Elton John concerts and more events affected

A surge of COVID-19 cases prompts a change in plans.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

With COVID-19 cases surging in many places across the US, a growing number of event organizers are changing plans for the sake of health and safety. On Tuesday, Elton John postponed his Dallas concerts as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour after testing positive for COVID-19. Last week, singer Adele also announced she wouldn't be kicking off her Las Vegas residency on Friday as planned, due to half her team being out with COVID, as well as shipping delays due to the pandemic.

At the start of January, as health officials worked through a backlog from over the holidays, the US reported more than a million new COVID cases in a single day, spurred by the omicron variant of COVID-19. Some available research suggests omicron may lead to less severe illness, though officials say it still could make a large number of people sick at once, which could overwhelm health care systems. 

Earlier in January, several large tech companies, including T-Mobile and Meta, scaled back their plans for CES 2022. The Grammys also announced a new date of April 3 after postponing the awards show originally scheduled for Jan. 31, while the Sundance Film Festival, scheduled for Jan. 20-30, also switched from an in-person to a virtual event due to COVID-19. 

Here are some of the latest postponements and cancellations:

  • Adele's Las Vegas residency: Adele said Jan. 20 that her team tried to put her show together in time, but they've been "absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and COVID," with half her crew down with the disease. Adele's residency at Caesars Palace was meant to kick off just a day later, on Jan. 21, and continue on weekends through to April 16. No word on rescheduled dates yet.
  • Grammys: The US Recording Academy postponed its Jan. 31 show at the Crypto.com Arena, formerly Staples Center, in Los Angeles after "careful consideration and analysis." The awards show will now take place on April 3 in Las Vegas.
  • Elton John concerts: The 74-year-old singer postponed his Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 concerts in Dallas after testing positive for COVID-19, announcing the news Jan. 25. The dates will be rescheduled in future.
  • Sundance Film Festival: The festival will transition to a virtual show. It's set to start on Jan. 20. 
  • Toy Fair New York 2022: The toy and entertainment event was canceled for the second year in a row due to concerns about COVID-19. It was scheduled to take place Feb. 19-22 at the Javits Center in New York.
  • Producers Guild of America Awards: The Feb. 26 PGA Awards event was rescheduled for March 19.
  • Cruise voyages: Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line canceled some sailings scheduled for the beginning of January. On Dec. 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to avoid cruise travel, regardless of their vaccination status. 
  • RSA: Out of an "abundance of caution," the RSA information security conference is being moved from February to June 6-9.
  • NHL: The National Hockey League began its annual leaguewide holiday break on Dec. 22, two days earlier than scheduled, amid a rise in positive COVID-19 cases among players. Games resumed on Dec. 27, and the 2022 NHL All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
  • Governors Awards: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences postponed the Governors Awards, which honor lifetime achievements within the film industry. The event was scheduled to take place on Jan. 15 in Hollywood. A new date has yet to be announced.