Missouri's acting health director 'hopeful' State Fair 'will be operated safely'

MO State Fair.PNG
Posted at 5:02 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 18:41:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Health leaders are hopeful the Missouri State Fair “will be operated safely,” according to the acting director of the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

“It is largely an outdoor event… we are providing vaccination opportunities at the fair and there will be guidance in terms of how to conduct that in a safe fashion,” Robert J. Knodell said during a press conference on Wednesday. “But we are very optimistic it will be a safe and successful event.”

Fair leadership is working with the Pettis County Health Center to offer vaccines from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 12-21 in the Mathewson Exhibition Center.

The fair, which takes place from Aug. 12-22 in Sedalia, will not have a mask mandate in place during that timeframe, but a state fair official said masks will be available for those who would like to wear one.

A Pettis County Health Center spokesperson previously told KSHB 41 News that mask requirements on the fairgrounds during the fair "are the decision of the State of Missouri.”

Pettis County Health Center data from July 1 through Aug. 9 show that the majority of COVID-19 cases were among those 19 to 24 years old. In the same timeframe, 799 cases were reported, of which 143 were in the 0 to 18-year-old age range.

A health advisory from late July states that Pettis County is in a “high transmission, low vaccination area.”

A COVID-19 testing site will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the VIP Tent on the fairgrounds – after the 11-day event concludes.