HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Following an announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday morning, the organizers of the Erie County Fair confirm the fair will take place on August 11-22 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.
In a COVID-19 response briefing, Cuomo announced county fairs, including the Erie County Fair, could open this summer. Fairs must get permits from their local health departments and attendees must practice social distancing. Larger fairs, like the Erie County Fair, must get state approval.
The Erie County Agricultural Society, which organizes the fair, told 7 Eyewitness News last week that it had already presented a plan to state and county health departments.
In a statement issued Monday, a spokesperson for the Erie County Fair said organizers would provide more specific details in the coming days.
The state says its industry-specific guidance must be followed and CDC guidance for large events and gatherings should be "consulted, as appropriate" for applicable activities and attractions at fairs/festivals.
Officials say in addition to capacity limits, social distancing and any mask requirements, organizers should consider the following:
- Attendee Contact Information: Fairs and festivals should encourage at least one attendee from each party to sign in during ticketing, or before or immediately upon entering the event space, providing their name, address and phone number for use in potential contact tracing efforts.
- Health Screening: Fairs and festivals must implement health screening for all individuals including questions on any COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts, recent positive COVID-19 test result, and compliance with State's travel advisory. Screening may be performed via signage, at ticket purchase, by e-mail/website, by telephone, or by electronic survey before individuals enter the event space.
- Hand Hygiene: Fairs and festivals must provide hand washing stations or hand sanitizing supplies for common areas and areas where hand washing facilities may not be available or practical.
- Cleaning and Disinfection: Fairs and festivals must regularly clean and disinfect, focusing on high-traffic areas, such as restrooms, and frequently touched surfaces, such as service counters and seats.
- Communication: Fairs and festivals must post signage informing attendees of health precautions (e.g., social distancing, masks, hand hygiene) and distance markers indicating six-foot spaces in areas where lines form or people congregate, unless all attendees are fully vaccinated.
- Applicable Guidance: Fairs and festivals should consult the State's guidance for their specific activities and attractions, such as performing arts and entertainment, amusement and family entertainment, food and beverage service, retail and market service, agricultural activities and sports and recreation.
"Fairs and festivals are huge economic generators for communities across the state, and last year they were all put on hold due to the COVID pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "As more New Yorkers get vaccinated and we continue to keep the positivity and hospitalization rates down, we are readjusting our reopening strategy and allowing more events and attractions to resume. This new guidance will allow our county fairs and local festivals to open at the greatest capacity possible so they can remain economically viable, while still ensuring public health and safety."