The Illinois State Fair kicks off next week, and officials announced today precautions against the spread of COVID at certain areas of the fair.
In a joint announcement by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Agriculture, all fair attendees, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks in public indoor settings.
Officials say the mitigations are pursuant to CDC and IDPH guidance. Additionally, all Grandstand concert-goers must wear masks to all performances. Ticketholders in the grandstand track area, also known as Standing Room Only, will be required to provide a print or digital copy of their personal Vaccine Card, Vaccine Record, or Negative COVID-19 test within the 72 hours preceding the concert.
Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello was pressed today by reporters during media day on what repercussions could be had by those who refuse to wear a mask or prove vaccination status.
“So what I can tell you is obviously we are following CDC guidelines just like any fair in the country should be. I believe the Indiana State Fair is currently following those guidelines. We want to have a family-friendly fair here and we are really really hoping that people will help us do that.”
Masks will be provided at the grandstand upon entrance as well as in other locations throughout the fairgrounds and must be worn over the nose and mouth indoors and for the duration of all grandstand performances.
Costello said while being pressed on the issue, that organizers are asking everyone to do their part, and are grateful the State Fair is able to happen.
“So what I would tell you again, we are asking to follow CDC guidelines, just like everyone in the country is supposed to follow. What we have concentrated on, and the administration has been fabulous in working with us, is the ability to have a fair. We are asking people to please be as safe as they possibly can. Again every fair in the United States should be following CDC guidelines.”
According to the announcement, carnival workers, vendors, and concessionaires are all required to wear masks and are responsible to assist in the cleaning of adjacent seating and picnic table areas.
Fogger machines will be used to apply a 72-hour disinfectant to all rides. Hand washing and hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the grounds, and no tram service will be offered this year.
IDPH is reminding fair-goers they will be hosting vaccination sites at six different locations on the grounds during the entirety of the fair.