A Louisiana skilled nursing facility celebrated its residents who successfully recovered from COVID-19 the way only a New Orleans-area facility could — with a second-line parade.  

“We felt like given that we’re in the New Orleans area what a unique way to celebrate and really make our residents feel like the times have changed and we’re coming out of the dark clouds into fresh, positive times,” Meera Riner, chief operating officer for Nexion Health, told McKnight’s.

The Marrero Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Marrero, LA, operated by Nexion, hosted the parade for residents earlier this month. 

A second-line parade is a traditional celebration that enslaved Africans brought to the New Orleans area. The parade typically serves as a celebration for an event and features a brass jazz band, colorful banners and clothing, explained Riner. 

“It’s kind of like a big block party,” she said. “The whole perspective of the second line is to let the good times roll. Keeping with their tradition.”

Forty-three residents at the facility have recovered from COVID-19. The facility connected with the Kings of Brass Jazz Band to play for residents as staff members helped them parade around the facility, while still following social distancing guidelines. 

Marrero staff members recently posted a video of the parade on Facebook. The video has been viewed and shared more than 20,000 times. 

“It really was just a celebration of survival, an opportunity to honor those who passed and kind of declaring our victory over COVID-19,” Riner said. 

Riner noted that the coronavirus experience has brought a lot of sorrow, grief, stress and anxiety to both staff members and residents, so they were all thrilled to be able to let loose and celebrate their accomplishments. 

“They have all spent a lot of time together in the last two months, so it was a relief and really a moment of joy to say, ‘Wow, we beat this and look where we are today,’” she said. 

“Having that happen for the staff really has been uplifting and joyous and a sense that [they’re] doing great work here.”