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Krewe of Boo surveys will determine level of COVID spread at parade

Anyone who signs up Saturday will receive a bag of goodies, including a home COVID test.

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. 

"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.

Along the route, workers with the health department will have signs with QR codes that will lead to a survey. People who attend the parade are asked to participate anonymously. They will receive multiple surveys over the few weeks following the parade to determine if they are sick or have tested for COVID. Anyone who signs up Saturday will receive a bag of goodies, including a home COVID test.

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. 

The future of Mardi Gras 2022 will largely depend on those survey results.

"This is how we save Carnival 2022, all together, pitching in," Avegno said.