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Posted on: August 10, 2021

Public Health Department Warns Fairgoers of COVID Risks

COVID-19 News, August 10 Update: Public Health Department Warns Fairgoers of COVID Risks

With the Nevada County Fair set to open Wednesday morning, the Nevada County Public Health department reported 186 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday–this is on the heels of last week, when we saw a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases and record-breaking COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Health officials are strongly urging residents to take every precaution to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

“There is no such thing as a risk-free environment right now, and a crowded Fair attended by thousands of people while the highly contagious Delta variant is circulating is an inherently risky environment,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “The safest thing you can do is stay home, especially if you fall into a higher-risk category.”

The Delta variant is up to 60% more infectious than previous COVID-19 strains and case rates and hospitalizations in Nevada County continue to soar. The huge increase in infections is already taxing the healthcare system, with local and regional hospitals heavily impacted. 

Health officials are deeply concerned that Fair attendance will cause an additional spike in cases that could overwhelm local and regional hospitals.

Nevada County Public Health officials released a joint statement with Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fair, Dr. Brian Evans, president and CEO of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, and other local healthcare leaders on Tuesday recommending that all fairgoers wear a mask both indoors and outdoors at the Fair, regardless of vaccination status.

The statement also strongly recommends that anyone age 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions consider avoiding the Fair this year. 

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, is in isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test, or in quarantine due to an exposure to someone who has tested positive must not attend the Fair.

Appreciation for Fair Officials

Public Health officials appreciate Nevada County Fair board and staff for their ongoing partnership in protecting community health. As a result of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Fair officials made changes to promote social distancing, increase airflow inside exhibit halls, and encourage masking and handwashing.

“The staff and board of the Nevada County Fair clearly recognize the gravity of the situation,” said Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann. “They have done what they can do. Now it’s your turn to make choices that protect your health and the health of your loved ones.”

Enjoy the Fair from Home

Those opting out of the Fair this year can follow the action from home. Listen to live broadcasts from the Fair on KNCO, check out photos and videos on the Fair’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and view competition results online at the Nevada County Fair website. Auctions will be livestreamed, and bidders can submit proxy bids online. Learn more at https://nevadacountyfair.com/fair/auctions/.

Please carefully weigh the benefits and risks of attending the fair this year. Protect yourself, your family, vulnerable members of our community, and our education and health care systems.

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