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'Do the right thing': Mayor of Wellington urges Lorain County Fair Board to cancel 2020 fair

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jul 19, 2020

WELLINGTON, Ohio — The mayor of Wellington, Hans Schneider, wrote an open letter to the Lorain County Fair Board requesting they cancel the fair to protect the public from COVID-19.

Set to begin on Aug. 23, the Lorain County Fair plans to set up for its 175th anniversary, but Schneider doesn’t think that should happen.

“I’m asking you today, in regards to public health and safety, to cancel the 2020 fair. It’s simply not worth it this year,” Schneider wrote to the fair board.

Schneider said that while the fair board had the best intentions in mind when making the decision to move forward with the fair, COVID-19 numbers are now trending in the wrong direction. With Lorain County deemed a Level 3 in the state’s Public Health Advisory System, Schneider said “there is no such thing as a safe fair anymore.”

The mayor went on to outline the reasons he believes the fair should be canceled.

The numbers don’t lie. The fair regularly attracts 100,000 plus people to our community. While they are here for the fair, they do stop for gas, groceries if they are camping and perhaps they even meander downtown before or after they attend the fair. Add in interactions with residents at the fair and the window for potential infections here is wide open.

Let’s assume we could test each visitor to the fair for Covid-19. Right now testing nationwide is yielding a positive test rate of over 8%. Let’s cut the fair attendance to 50,000. With an 8% rate that’s 4,000 positive cases walking around the fair, potentially interacting with our residents and our businesses.

If the potential of infection doesn’t move you, perhaps the death rate will. With a nationwide death rate currently of 3.9 percent, it’s abundantly clear not everyone survives. Are you willing to gamble that a member of your family, a friend or a member of your community won’t contract and/or die from Covid-19 as a result of holding the fair?

Schneider said that while everyone wakes up and faces risks each day—from driving to work to a choice in diets and other lifestyle choices—he asked the fair board not to increase the risks to residents of Lorain County by moving forward with the fair.

You are all good, passionate and dedicated people. Your hearts were in the right place when you decided to move forward with one of the great traditions of this county. Even my heart wants to fair to go on but my head tells me otherwise. The numbers have changed, the threat has increased and it’s simply not worth the risk.

Do the right thing by putting public health and safety first. Cancel the fair.