BATON ROUGE—Mardi Gras is the State’s most famous tourist attraction, drawing hundreds of visitors to the New Orleans area, particularly during the weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday. These Carnival crowds mean a temporary surge in the city’s population, and the Department of Health and Hospitals is supporting local officials to monitor emergency medical services activity this weekend, being prepared to step in and offer additional resources as necessary.
“A big part of our mission to protect public health includes being prepared and being ready, and we are glad we can support our partners in the New Orleans area to keep an eye on things and be ready to assist if needed,” said DHH Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary J.T. Lane. “We hope this will ensure everyone has a safe and happy Mardi Gras.”
Emergency rooms in the New Orleans area typically see higher patient volumes during Mardi Gras, and the regional DHH Office of Public Health, which serves the Greater New Orleans area, is providing additional medical equipment such as stretchers and monitors to area hospitals as requested to supplement their available resources.
Regional Office of Public Health staff also will work with the Regional Coordination Center, which aligns resources among local emergency response agencies in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. The Regional Coordination Center will be active from Thursday, Feb. 16 through Tuesday, Feb. 21, to monitor activity during Mardi Gras and respond if there is an emergency. Regional public health staff will work with the center during this activation to request DHH assistance and resources as needed.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.