View of the Mobile Carnival Museum, located in the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion on Government Street in downtown Mobile, Alabama.  E

The Mardi Gras celebration that takes place in New Orleans every February is world renowned, but the annual Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, Alabama is a big deal, too. In fact, Mardi Gras originated in the southern Alabama city more than 300 years ago.

Hoping to make the 2020 Mobile Mardi Gras celebrations a success, Mobile County health officials are giving out small bottles of hand sanitizer before some parades, reports WPMI-TV.

The Mobile County Health Department’s strategic move makes plenty of sense. More than six percent of all outpatient visits made to healthcare facilities in Mobile, Alabama  between Feb. 9 and Feb. 15 were due to influenza-like symptoms, according to Alabama Public Health. For context, the threshold in which activity is viewed to be high by the department is 3.19 percent.

The entire state of Alabama isn’t doing so hot either. Nearly one in 10 people visiting a doctor in the state lately have done so because of influenza-like illness.

Mobile County will give out the hand sanitizer at events until it runs out. After that, it encourages people to wash hands with soap and water, avoid touching their face, and stay away from objects that could be contaminated at parades, such as barricades.