Mobile officials have not made any definitive plans about Mardi Gras, despite a New Orleans decision to cancel parades in 2021.
In a “frequently asked questions” portion of the website for the city of New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office wrote that Mardi Gras “parades of any kind will not be permitted because large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus.”
Cantrell, through the website, confirmed that famous tourist spots like Bourbon and Frenchman street entertainment districts would remain open during Carnival season.
Mobile County Health Officer Burt Eichold did not give a recommendation on what to do as it relates to Mardi Gras in Mobile. However, he said hsi department “does not support large gatherings.”
He told members of the Mobile City Council on Tuesday that the city and Health Department should contact local officials in New Orleans about the parade decision.
“It would be interesting to get information from them,” Eichold said. “It’s something we should look at closely.”
As for what the future holds in Mobile, County Health Officer Burt Eichold said his department just doesn’t know what to expect.
“We really don’t know,” Eichold told members of the Mobile City Council about the virus’s impact on Carnival. “The virus is changing and I can’t tell you.”
Much of the decision, Eichold said, could depend on Gov. Kay Ivey’s health order, which is set to expire Dec. 11. However, he said residents could take precautions now to ensure a safe Carnival season. For instance, Eichold said, residents should continue to wear facial coverings, maintain social distancing and wash their hands frequently.
“Let’s do the most we can to limit the transmission of disease,” Eichold said. “Then we can have more fun as individuals and as a city and county.”
At the council meeting, Stimpson said the city will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the Alabama Department of Public Health and Mobile County Health Department as it relates to Carnival season. Like Eichold, Stimpson urged residents to not get complacent about the virus until a vaccine has been widely distributed.
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