A parade for gay pride in New Orleans will feature an array of high-tech devices to prevent the spread of diseases, and a new program will pay people to go to the event, in an effort to reduce the number of new coronavirus infections.
Organizers say they will have more than 500 people on the parade route, which is expected to draw a record crowd of about 200,000 people.
The program will be led by the American Civil Liberties Union and will pay participants to go on the route, where they will get free, personal care items including wipes, masks, gloves and eye protection.
Organizer Michael Williams says it is part of a larger effort to create a safe environment for the public to come to the parade.
Organizing director Michael Meehan said the program was created after the state of New Orleans announced that it would require health departments to pay for the use of personal protective equipment to prevent people from contracting the coronaviral disease.
It is a step in the right direction, he said, but the city has yet to decide on the size of the payment.
“I think we have to be very, very cautious.
We have to take all the information and do our due diligence,” Meehan said.
Meehan and Williams say they are aiming to raise $100 million for the program over the next three years, though the exact number of participants is unknown.
The city expects the program to begin in April.
The organization will use an app to let people know where they can go, including a map of the parade grounds and an interactive map that will show where the route is going, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
Organization officials said the app is being developed by the New York-based nonprofit organization Public Citizen and that the organization is looking for the best vendors to develop the app.
Organizations are also seeking sponsors and a marketing budget for the project.
“We have a lot of really good ideas,” Meeshan said.
“We don’t know where to go, but we have a plan to make this the best experience we can.”
Organizers have also created a website and social media platforms for people to contact health departments and share information about the program.
“It’s a public health issue, and we are working with partners to get the right information out to the public,” Mesehan said, noting that health departments have received emails and texts from people who were concerned about the safety of their families or loved ones.
Meeshan says it will take a month for the app to go live and he is still in the process of figuring out how the city will pay for it.