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Kern County Fair board members discuss COVID regulations

Kern County Fair
Posted at 11:57 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 03:25:34-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In May the Kern County Fair Board of Directors voted to postpone the 2021 fair for the 2nd year in a row due to the pandemic but shortly after that decision was reversed. The fair will go on this year however, some things could change this time around.

Monday night, board members discussed COVID precautions for the fair.

“I believe that we should be extra cautious at our fair and if people don’t like it too damn bad,” said board member David Torres.

As of Monday, fair goers will not need to wear a mask for the upcoming event.

“Unless the science has changed outdoor transmissions are minimal if at all,” said board member Lucas Espericueta.

This sparked concern for some board members as they revisit guidelines amid talk of a possible covid surge later this fall.

“Any decision we make its gonna come back on us. Were gonna have to put disclaimers everywhere you look and protect ourselves,” said board member Blodgie Rodriguez.

Torres asked the group to consider implementing stricter mandates than the state.

“If we don’t think that these mandates are sufficient or stringent enough. The question is if we can act upon ourselves,” said Torres.

The discussion is still up in the air with the fair only 5 weeks away. More questions arise when it comes to the 150 fair employees regarding the vaccine mandates. The board looked to the state for more guidance on how to enforce this

Ned Dunphy said, “My understanding is if a temp hire or full-time hire can show you proof of vaccination then they’re good. If they can’t then they have to test or wear a mask.”

Espericueta is concerned testing on a weekly basis will not be financially feasible for employee as they do not receive health insurance.

“If the answer is your employees have to pay for it. I just want everyone to know that were going to lose a lot of potential people we can hire. It’ll be harder,” said Espericueta.

While those logistics are still in the works much of the planning process is set in stone, like performers, livestock events, attractions and rides. Board members hope to get the fair to look as normal as possible this year as long as everything goes to plan.

Another board member said, “If the governor decides to move or have us not have the fair or a different type of fair. We are prepared for that. We do have back up plans.”