CASPER, Wyo. – Organizers are planning to hold Natrona County 4-H/FFA events traditionally scheduled during the annual Fair and Rodeo this year, despite the cancelation of the 2020 event due to COVID-19 concerns.
According to Central Wyoming Fairgrounds manager Tom Jones, the fairgrounds are working with county 4-H organizers on a method to continue with the events with social distancing safety measures put into place.
“What we’re working on is one-day in and out shows where everything is done in the trailers,” said Jones.
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“We told them we’d help wherever we could,” he said. “We are trying to make it happen for the kids, we don’t want to see that go away.”
Jones said the auction and shows will happen outdoors at the fairgrounds arena.
“You won’t have any pens, they won’t be here for a full week,” he said. “You can’t have them all together, there’s too many people.”
Jones said the details are still being worked out by county 4-H organizers, who posted on their Facebook page over the weekend.
“Extension staff, FFA advisors, superintendents, and committee members are already hard at work developing their plan for approval by health and county authorities,” said the post in part. “Updates will be released as soon as plans are approved.”
The post said organizers planned to hold the 4-H/FFA static projects, shows, and livestock sale.
Officials at the Extension Office were in meetings on Monday and unavailable for comment. Jones said he was unaware of the final details but said they’re in the process of being worked out.
The future of this year’s 4-H/FFA show was in question after Governor Gordon announced that all major rodeos in Wyoming would be canceled this season due to concerns over coronavirus spread. Students in 4-H and FFA put in hundreds of hours and dollars into raising the animals for competition and sale during the fair.
The Natrona County 4-H Facebook post said the livestock shows would be compliant with public health restrictions, which now allow up to 250 people to gather at one time. The limit was 10 people when health restrictions first went into effect in March.
“Our 4-H and FFA kids are important and this will be a wonderful opportunity to show our 4-H and FFA grit to overcome difficulties and to work as a team to make this possible,” the Facebook post concluded.
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What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.