Masks, vaccines, testing: How the State Fair hopes to avoid COVID spread and what happens if there’s a positive

New York State Fair

STATE FAIRGROUNDS (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Health Commissioner says she won’t tell people whether they should or shouldn’t go to the New York State Fair.

In an interview with NewsChannel 9 on the Fair’s opening day, Dr. Indu Gupta said, “Do you really need to go this year or do you not want to go this year? That is an individual decision.”

Fair Director Troy Waffner has a similar stance. He said, “The 2021 Fair has to be a decision everyone makes individually. If you feel safe, come. If you don’t feel safe, don’t come. We’ll have 2022.”

For those who decide to go, Waffner says to be polite and patient. Masks are required inside all buildings and encouraged in crowds outside.

“I understand there are strong opinions about the pandemic and masks, but you have to put on your mask so don’t fight with our people about it.”

Troy Waffner, NYS Fair Director

Signs to remind people are placed outside each buildings’ entrances. Mask dispensers will be available at multiple locations.

Waffner promises: “This will be as as safe as we can make it.”

In addition to the ongoing vaccination opportunity at the State Fairgrounds, testing is also available all 18 days of the State Fair.

signs at testing center saying covid testing entrance
Signs at the former Demonstration Kitchen at the New York State Fair point to a testing center where people can get tested for COVID-19. Fair goers must be masked at all times indoors this year due to growing threats of the Delta variant.

Members of the public can get tested at the Art and Home Center. Vendors have an option for voluntary testing behind the Horticulture Building.

Positive results will be determined by the State Department of Health, which will contact the infected person’s home county. From there, the positive’s impact on the Fair will be based on each individual circumstance.

Information of cases that can be easily contact-traced might not even be shared with the public.

Dr. Gupta said there are no benchmarks of how different case numbers will impact Fair restrictions.

The Fair Director said he’s willing to adjust the Fair as the pandemic dictates.

The health commissioner says to limit time indoors and keep distance, especially knowing people testing positive could be walking around until they’re notified of the results.

“Mask. Mask. Mask. It should be a fashion statement at this point,” said Dr. Gupta.

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