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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— With Omicron continuing to surge, is there an end in sight? When will Omicron peak, and what does this mean for our upcoming Carnival celebrations? WGNO’s Kenny Lopez talked to Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Medical Director of Emergency Management at LCMC Health for those answers.

We’ve got about a month to go until all the big Carnival parades begin, but with Omicron still surging, how safe is it really to be partying at parades?

“The hope is that next week or so hopefully we are hitting that peak and definitely on the way down, that’s based on what we’ve seen in other places,” Dr. Jeffrey Elder said.

Dr. Elder says although locally the COVID-19 numbers are going down right now, he’s hopeful that we’ll see a downward spiral in the next few weeks before the parades begin. So if you do go to a Mardi Gras parade what are the chances of catching Omicron?

“So the good news with Mardi Gras is that a lot of the what we do is outside. So if you are outdoors, not elbow to elbow with someone then the risk is a lot lower than being indoors. If you’re outside, you’ll probably be just fine,” he said.

But if you are indoors in New Orleans, you must prove you are vaccinated or show a negative COVID test and wear a mask.

“I think the fact that masking is mandated in New Orleans is huge,” Dr. Elder said.

Dr. Elder says there’s still time to take parade precautions.

“If we want to get the numbers down, masking, vaccinating, getting booster shot, that’s how we do it,” Dr. Elder said.

He went on to say, “So people want to be able to have some fun with Mardi Gras and return to normalcy and I don’t blame them.”