MOBILE, ALA. (WALA)- Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said he's worried for the health of his officers who have to work Fat Tuesday. 

"Yes, I'm concerned and I'll always be concerned," said Battiste.

While New Orleans is stopping all revelry in the city, in Mobile, there won't be balls or parades, but bars will be open, streets are going to be closed and crowds are expected to gather. Battiste is worried his officers have little immunity and could catch the virus.

"We're looking at about 25% of the staff that has been vaccinated. Some of it has been, originally, they didn't want to be vaccinated. Some of it has been when they made up their mind they wanted to be vaccinated, access to vaccination has not been there," Battiste said.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced the plan to block off three streets in Downtown Mobile for Fat Tuesday to allow people to still celebrate socially distanced, with masks on, and outside in the fresh air.

Chief Battiste said his officers will keep general crowd control, pass out masks and citations for those who aren't following those CDC safety guidelines.

Even with those measures in place, Battiste isn't the only one with concerns it could get out of hand.

DR. Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department, "I would hate to see a repeat of what we saw following Thanksgiving and Christmas with all of the events and gatherings that took place. We are just now starting to decline in the number of cases and hospitalizations and I would hate to see those go up again in the two weeks after Mardi Gras day."

When asked about Mobile's Mardi Gras plans, Mark Bryant with the county health department said in part "Outdoor gatherings are better than indoor."

Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said months ago they would not be helping patrol this Mardi Gras season because of the virus.

All content © 2021, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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(1) comment


No different than restaurants open now! People need to work- we have to support our family. Cops gonna get paid anyway! Instead of worrying about masks and a virus- start busting up crime in the neighborhoods- with open air drug markets- and constant murders

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