Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Sept. 23, 2020

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Inslee: Agricultural events allowed, but only without spectators


OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday announced new guidelines for agricultural events, such as livestock exhibits or sales, in counties currently in Phase 2 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan.

This would apply to both Grant and Adams counties, which have been in Phase 2 since late May.

In order to operate, the state is mandating that an agricultural event require pre-registration of attendees, disallow any type of spectators or visitors, and increase the distance between people and limit the duration of any contact. All events are limited to 50 percent capacity, while indoor events are limited to 50 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is less.

In addition, any staff or participant who is sick must stay home, and participants are encouraged to engage in strict “biosecurity,” disinfecting all equipment before and after the event. The event itself must be designed to allow for maximal social distancing and, whenever possible, keep participants outdoors with optimal ventilation.

These guidelines will be in effect for the livestock show and auction scheduled for later in the month at Grant County Fairgrounds. Organizers either plan to hold the event Aug. 19-21 or Aug. 20-21, depending on whether the state would allow judging to take place, an activity not mentioned in the state’s new guidelines.

Either way, the auction itself will be online, fairgrounds director Jim McKiernan said in an interview last week. A link to the auction site will be posted when it’s available, McKiernan said.

Though the state guidelines would allow for exhibitors, organizers announced earlier in the month that no exhibitors will be allowed to stay at the fairgrounds any longer than it takes to drop off the animals. Adult volunteers will feed and water the animals during their stay.