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COVID safety and security a priority for 2022 New York State Fair

Early NYS Fair patrons wait for the opening of the gates at the NYS Fair on Tuesday, August 20, 2021.
NYS Fair
Michael J. Okoniewski
Early NYS Fair patrons wait for the opening of the gates at the NYS Fair on Tuesday, August 20, 2021.

On Sunday, the state reported the COVID-19 positivity rate for Onondaga County was 8.6%. Now with the state fair only two weeks away, event organizers are preparing to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible.

All indications are the 2022 fair will likely resemble what it did before the pandemic in terms of fuller crowds intermixing with one another. It’s a much different contrast to the hesitancy by some to attend the events’ full reopening in 2021 after it was canceled the year prior. There are also more adults and kids vaccinated this year, and that will likely be a confidence booster to attend. Interim State Fair Director Sean Hennessey said proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or mask wearing won’t be required at entry gates or in buildings.

"So we will have masks for anyone that is requiring or would like to take part in wearing a mask while at the fair, and we also have Miraclean [covid tests] and will have at various locations at the fair to make sure that everything's sanitized, we make sure that we wipe things down, we make sure that everybody has a safe experience here," Hennessey said.

Hennessey said another aspect of safety beyond any COVID-19 concerns is to ensure that fairgoers have a safe experience overall, and for that, he credits a large team of partners.

"A joint operations center based right here out of the State Fair where we come together to communal space that we utilize with the Department of Homeland Security, DOT, DEC, parks, state police, and a variety of other state agencies. We always see the safety package for the grounds," Hennessey said.

The state fair runs from Aug. 24 through Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct when the state fair was canceled due to COVID-19.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.