Members of the high school marching band from Alabama who led the 133rd Rose Parade have tested positive for coronavirus since returning home from California.
The outbreak has impacted an unknown number of the 410 band members from Homewood High School who played “Yankee Doodle Dandy” in the Rose Parade, according to Birmingham area school district officials.
On Tuesday, the same day parents were notified about an unspecified number of positive tests following the trip to Pasadena for the Jan. 1 parade, it was announced that the entire school would switch from in-person to virtual classes because of a school-wide outbreak.
Candy Carlson, communications director for the Tournament of Roses, told the Los Angeles Times that the organization was saddened to hear about Homewood’s cases, though officials weren’t given any information indicating they resulted from the band’s trip to Pasadena.
“The recent surge of COVID-19 as a result of the Omicron variant is concerning for all of us. However, we are confident that our strict COVID-19 related protocols enabled us to mitigate those impacts for our parade participants and patrons,” Carlson said.
Tournament of Roses officials said that of the more than 6,500 participants in this year’s parade, 91% were vaccinated, and the remainder were required to provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event.
The Homewood Patriot Band, Alabama’s largest high school band, has made four previous appearances in the Rose Parade, which returned this year after the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 forced the first cancellation since World War II.