MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — We’re just a few weeks away from parades rolling through downtown Mobile once again for carnival season.

But, with all the pandemic shortages we’ve been seeing, could Mardi Gras be impacted?

The city of Mobile is keeping a close eye on COVID cases among all departments, to make sure the good times can roll through the streets without a hitch.

This will be the first time Mardi Gras will happen during a pandemic.

Thousands of people are expected to crowd the streets once again throughout the month of February to celebrate.

Visit Mobile says there are typically around a million visitors to the city of Mobile for Mardi Gras, that’s pre-COVID. And this year, they believe this will be one of the biggest in a few years.

Visit Mobile sent a statement about this year’s celebrations:

“We believe that this will be one of our biggest celebrations in years because people are excited to get back to our beloved Carnival traditions. Pre-COVID, we would typically see about 1 million people during the three weeks of Mardi Gras in downtown Mobile. We’re eager to welcome everyone back to our party but encourage revelers to practice personal responsibility when attending Mardi Gras-related events in Mobile this year. Mardi Gras always features masks, but this year you may need to wear one of a different kind! Also, remember everything we’ve learned over the past two years: wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing in indoor spaces.”

David Clark, president, and CEO of Visit Mobile.

With that many visitors, as omicron continues to spread in the community, there is concern that it will spread more.

We spoke with the Dr. Rhinid Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department earlier this month about potential staffing shortages due to COVID-19. “We’re seeing staff shortages in all factors of life, in schools, in daycares, in nursing homes, in hospitals, in businesses and restaurants,” said Murphee.

Murphee believes there is heightened risk for those working during the events.

“We are really concerned about the safety of our first responders, including security,” said Murphee.

The Downtown Mobile Alliance said they haven’t heard any concerns about shortages ahead of Mardi Gras, including product shortages, and some businesses we spoke with said the same thing, and that they’re just preparing now for Mardi Gras and the visitors who will come to the city.

“We are really fortunate to be home to some of the best hotels, restaurants and attractions in the country and are confident that their leadership teams and front-line staff will go above and beyond to ensure that all our visitors have a great experience.”

David Clark, president, and CEO of Visit Mobile.

But many are ready to get out to the streets once again, including Wesley Wyatt, who plans on going to a few parades this year.

“I’m not particularly worried about staff shortages or things getting shut down. Because we’ve been through it before. It’ll just be more of the same if that happens,” said Wyatt.

The health department is encouraging those who are planning on attending Mardi Gras festivities to test before and after you go, and to get vaccinated.