Mardi Gras may have worsened New Orleans’ coronavirus emergency, experts say

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New Orleans is quickly becoming a hotspot for the coronavirus, and the city’s jam-packed Mardi Gras season could be the reason why, according to medical experts.

More than a million revelers crowded into the city’s famed French Quarter and other neighborhoods over several weeks to celebrate the costumed gathering, the culmination of the Carnival celebration. The Mardi Gras season ran from Jan. 6 to Feb. 25, or Fat Tuesday.

In the weeks after, the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the United States, overwhelming hospitals in some cities and prompting lockdowns of several urban areas. The “Big Easy” — one of the nation’s most impacted cities — had a reported at least 997 cases.

Statewide, Louisiana is experiencing the fastest increase in new cases in the world. As of Thursday, the state reported 2,305 cases, including 83 deaths.

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