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Mobile leaders discuss New Orleans canceling parades

Mobile leaders discuss New Orleans canceling parades (WPMI)
Mobile leaders discuss New Orleans canceling parades (WPMI)

New Orleans may have revoked revelry for 2021 due to the pandemic, but Mobile leaders haven't pulled the plug on the Port City's favorite past time, yet.

"Do you really think the transmission rate will be low enough during Mardi Gras season that you can recommend parades going forward?" asked NBC 15's Andrea Ramey.

"I will tell you it's never been, in the past month, it's never gotten to a point where I think it will be safe for people to gather in large groups and have parades," replied Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold.

The news New Orleans canceled its parades prompted Mobile city leaders at Tuesday's city council meeting, held over Zoom due to the pandemic, to discuss whether or not the city should allow them.

"I just couldn't fathom how you'd do a crowd. If we were encouraging them to come to downtown, which we always do at Mardi Gras," said Council Member Bess Rich.

"The issue is whether or not it's going to be safe for our citizens to go to a Mardi Gras parade. That's the issue," said Council Member Fred Richardson.

Officials say they will let health orders serve as guide this Mardi Gras season.

"The City of Mobile, our position is going to be, we will follow the guidelines issued by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Mobile County Health Department," said Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Eichold says there's no way to predict where we'll be in the pandemic in January and February.

"If the community transmission rate is extremely low and you're way down, 1 or 2%, in your PCR test, that tests for COVID-19, are negative then you can have more community interaction. And of course, face mask make it safer. But if we have an increase in community transmission rates then there's no way to do any time of gathering that can really be safe," said Eichold.