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GETTING ANSWERS: LDH weighs in on Mardi Gras safety

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 4:06 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As the good times roll this weekend, health experts are weighing in on how COVID-19 could impact the fun.

As of Friday, Feb. 18, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 1,872 new COVID cases and 49 new deaths. Following the holiday season, the Omicron surge ramped up the amount of cases not only in the Bayou State, but nationwide.

Officials with LDH recently weighed in on their level of concern about any possible spikes that might result from Mardi Gras.

“I think that the timing of this Omicron surge is somewhat fortuitous and we’re coming down now as the Carnival season is getting going. I think that there’s a chance that we’ll be at baseline, just looking at the process that we’ve made. I do have concerns about the events that are happening now,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer.

Kanter says there are some Mardi Gras events that are higher risk than others.

“Going to a bal, high risk. If you’re eating and drinking you’re clearly taking off your mask. That’s a high risk activity,” he said. “Going to a parade with a thick crowd with a family, if they’re towards the back and there’s space around them, that’s lower risk. Not zero risk, but it’s lower risk.”

LDH officials say wearing a mask if you do find yourself in larger crowds will be key. as well as taking advantage of a booster shot for added protection.

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