The rodeo is to blame for a delay in reopening Shasta County in California, officials say.
Shasta County, north of Sacramento, was set to open early because it met criteria for “regional variance,” Fox News reports.
But after about 2,000 people showed up for the Cottonwood Rodeo’s Mother’s Day event, plans to allow retail and dine-in restaurants to open have been set back.
Kerri Schuette, a spokeswoman for Shasta County’s Health and Human Services Agency, told the Record Searchlight that Gov. Gavin Newsom found out about the event and will change the reopening plan for the county.
“The rodeo came to the governor’s attention and it has delayed full implementation of opening businesses back up here,” she said.
The rodeo took place against the recommendation of health officials. No mass gatherings are allowed to take place.
“I am not happy and the state isn’t happy and it’s impacting the approval of our variance,” Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom said in a statement. “We’re all frustrated. It was inappropriate and it put the community at risk of disease transmission among attendees and the people they are in contact with, which could include vulnerable people who did not attend. It jeopardizes the ability for all Shasta County businesses to move forward into full Stage 2 opening, which delays our economic recovery.”
Shasta County has had 32 coronavirus cases and four deaths. Ramstrom had announced the county could move into Phase 2 on Friday. The rodeo took place two days later where people were shown not wearing masks or social distancing.
Ahead of the announcement that it would delay the county’s reopening, Cottonwood Rodeo Producer Jeff Davis told KRCR News that he felt Sunday was the right time to host the rodeo.
"Nobody had to enter. It wasn’t sanctioned,” he told the local ABC news outlet. “They didn’t have to go there to chase points in order to make it to the Nationals or anything like that. Nobody was forced to come here as a contestant or as a spectator. If you wanted to come and enjoy yourself, we had an event.”
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