coronavirus

Contra Costa County Fair Returns, Experts Recommend Masking Indoors as a Precaution

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The Contra Costa County fair is back after taking a break in the pandemic. However, as COVID cases rise, experts recommend carrying a mask even at outdoor events like this. Christie Smith reports.

The Contra Costa County Fair is back after it was cancelled during the pandemic.

Food, rides and entertainment are returning at a time when COVID cases are up in the Bay Area, and experts say precautions should be taken.

Some families really missed the fair, and are ready to attend once again and have a good time.

"I've got five little kids and I thought it would be fun to come see the animals and get everyone outside," a parent said.

The fair is expecting 30,000 to 35,000 people over the next four days.

"We run through Sunday," explained a county fair staff member. "Great carnival, great fair, great free entertainment. Saturday night is destruction day, today is dollar day."

COVID cases are up in the Bay Area at a time when spring events are returning.

At the Contra Costa County Fair, organizers say they're following county and state guidelines.

"We are not having any restrictions. We do recommend that if you feel safe to wear a mask, please do so," a staff member said. "99 percent of our event is outdoors and if you are in a building, the doors are wide open so there is lots of ventilation, so those are the precautions we have taken."

UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin Hong says going to a county fair is safer than other events.

"There is still very little evidence of outdoor transmission and the Bay Area is super windy, so its much safer than being indoors," he said.

Dr. Chin Hong also said people should think carefully how they navigate crowded setting even outdoors and consider a few factors.

"I would definitely carry a mask with me and pull it on when it feels a little bit risky," he said.

Contra Costa County recommends masking indoors.