NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans hopes to collect surveys from 1,000 people who attend or participate in the Krewe of Boo parade to determine if parades like this contribute to COVID spread.
40 New Orleans Health Department employees and volunteers, dressed as Dr. Anthony Fauci, will be holding signs with QR Codes that link up to the anonymous questionnaire. The Faucis will be handing out goody-bags to those who participate in the study filled with fun items and a free at-home Ellume COVID-19 test. Those who participate will receive multiple surveys over the few weeks following the parade to determine if they are sick or have tested for COVID.
City officials say since the city of New Orleans enacted the mask and vaccine mandates in August, vaccinations have increased more than 11%, and the average daily cases decreased by 90%. They're hoping the information gathered from the study will help them make an informed decision regarding Carnival 2022.
"My expectation is that we will be able to show everything is working and protecting our community the way it should be," the city's health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said.
The Krewe of Boo will be the first parade to roll in New Orleans since Mardi Gras 2020, more than a year and a half ago. It will be held Saturday and roll through the Marigny, French Quarter, along Canal St., and through the Warehouse District. The parade will have more than 400 riders on 13 floats and 30 plus marching units, including the Clydesdales.
With thick crowds expected, everyone is asked to wear masks at the parade.
"We are really strongly encouraging our crowds, when you are in the thick of it, wear those masks," Avegno said.
Krewe Captain Brian Kern feels confident the large crowds he expects wont contribute to COVID spread.
"I think we're going to be fine," he said.
"This is how we save Carnival 2022, all together, pitching in," Avegno said.