Alaska State Fair urges caution to help slow spread of COVID-19

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:55 AM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Many visitors to the Alaska State Fair have worn masks, even though they are not required. The fair will provide one if needed, along with hand sanitizer.

“That’s a good thing to do, right,” said Tsuginori Fudge, one of the visitors. “You remind others what to do. It’s just being mindful of their surroundings.”

Signs are also posted around the fairgrounds to help you stay safe while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Alaska State Fair also encourages social distancing and frequent hand washing.

“It’s an open air event. This is something the fair has done a very good job,” said Adam Crum, the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services. “Even spreading it out over multiple days, more than usual. We’re hoping to keep the numbers down of the overall crowds so people have the opportunity to continue to have space to operate and enjoy.”

This year’s fair will last three weekends instead of the traditional two. Management said it will close on Tuesday and Wednesday which will give crews time to clean the grounds, and determine if other changes are needed.

Plus, DHSS will offer free COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the fair.

The latest numbers from the agency show the Matnuska-Susitna Borough is the least vaccinated region in the state, with 37.7% of the population fully vaccinated.

That’s frustrated health care workers particularly, with the spread of the delta variant in Alaska.

“Now we have something more contagious,” said Rene Dillow, DHSS Public Health Nurse Manager based in Wasilla. “It’s like we’re tired, nobody wants to do any mitigation.”

DHSS and the Alaska State Fair are doing their part to slow the spread of the virus. They hope visitors will follow their lead.

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