Categories
Health

Eight Additional Fatalities COVID-19 Related

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing eight additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is providing an update on the number of positive cases and recovered individuals. All data reported through the daily updates are based on data received as of 6 p.m. the previous day.

In total,152 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 32 to 103 years old. Of those who have died, 78 were females and 74 were males. A total of 68 individuals were from New Castle County, 26 were from Kent County, and 58 were from Sussex County. Ninety-six of the deaths involved residents from long-term care facilities. DPH learned that one previously reported death was a resident of a long-term care facility, therefore that individual is now included in the 96 total fatalities related to long-term care.

DPH will provide demographic information for COVID-19-related deaths in aggregate only, and will no longer provide demographics of each individual person who died.

The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 65 to 95. Seven were female and one was a male. Three were New Castle County residents, one was a Kent County resident, and four were Sussex County residents. Six of the most recent deaths involved individuals with underlying health conditions. Seven individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

Governor Carney’s thirteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, requires Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings, including in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and on public transportation, Governor Carney’s order recommends but does not require children aged 12 or younger to wear a face covering. Any child age 2 or younger MUST NOT wear a face covering, due to the risk of suffocation.

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, include:

4,734 total laboratory-confirmed cases
New Castle County cases: 1,734
Kent County cases: 759
Sussex County cases: 2,216
Unknown County: 25
Females: 2,542; Males: 2,163; Unknown: 29
Age range: 0 to 103
Currently hospitalized: 296; Critically ill: 65 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
Delawareans recovered: 1,275
17,086 negative cases**
*Data are provisional and subject to change.

**Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis.

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal. The data on My Healthy Community will supplement, not replace, the daily case data displayed on de.gov/coronavirus.

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions – including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment – might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Statewide testing at standing health facility testing sites require a physician’s order or prescription to be tested (*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). These are not walk-in testing sites. Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-866-408-1899. In New Castle County, individuals can call ChristianaCare at 1-302-733-1000 and Sussex County residents who do not have a provider can call the Beebe COVID-19 Screening Line at 302-645-3200. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.

Additionally, expanded community testing is occurring in Sussex County. These sites do not require a physician’s order. These community testing sites are for community members and employees along the Route 113 corridor in Sussex County, including areas as far west as Seaford/Laurel with a focus on employees of essential businesses, at-risk populations and their families, those exposed to someone with COVID-19, or someone caring for a sick family member with COVID-19. The hours of operation for these sites may be limited by the number of supplies available for the specific event.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Categories
Government & Politics

Gov. Carney Issues State of Emergency Modification

Governor John Carney on Thursday issued the fourteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, providing additional protections for Delaware renters during the COVID-19 pandemic, and extending the application deadline for Delaware’s Senior School Property Tax Credit Program until June 1.

“We still face a very serious situation with COVID-19 in Delaware, especially in hot spot areas along the Route 113 corridor in Sussex County,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans should stay home unless you need to go out for essential work or essential items. Wear a cloth face covering in public settings. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Continue to take this threat seriously and stay informed at de.gov/coronavirus. We’ll get through this by working together.”

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration has the full force and effect of law. Delaware’s stay-at-home order, and mandatory quarantine for out-of-state travelers, remain in place. Violations of the emergency declaration, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.

Click here to read the full text of Governor Carney’s fourteenth modification.

Categories
Headlines Health milford-live

Community Testing Begins In Milford

Community testing began in Milford on Thursday, April 30 at the DHSS State Services Center. No appointment is necessary.

Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus is partnering with the Governor’s office, the Division of Public Health, and our other healthcare systems to expand Coronavirus community testing and outreach to high-risk populations in Sussex County.

Bayhealth will provide walk-up or drive-up community testing at the DHSS State Services Center in Milford located at 253 NE Front Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on these dates: April 30, May 2, May 4, May 7, May 9, and May 11.

This expanded community testing is geared to the following high-risk populations: those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, those living or working with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, family members or housemates of those working in the poultry industry, and those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, or compromised immune systems.

Coronavirus testing is available for all ages. Nemours AI DuPont will be available to provide pediatric patient testing.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. You may also email DPHCall@delaware.gov with questions.

Categories
Culture Headlines

Local Photographer Honors Essential Workers

by Terry Rogers

 Two social media posts by friends working in healthcare prompted John Mollura to jump into an idea he had been toying with for some time, doing portraits via video. The idea came to him after a portrait session with an American Idol contestant was cancelled due to the virus. Mollura considered doing the session via video but then put the idea on hold.

“Then I read posts from my friends that made me stop and think,” Mollura said. “One said she refused to sleep in the same room as her husband after treating COVID-19 patients. Another was afraid to hug her husband or children. That got to me and I started thinking about this video portrait thing.”

Mollura mentioned the idea to his assistant, Claire, who was celebrating her first year of sobriety. Because Claire was also a photographer, the two decided to start playing with the portraits by video idea to celebrate her first anniversary of sobriety.

“What developed was some really cool photographs,” Mollura said. “So, those two posts kept coming into my mind. The day after Claire and I did our session was Easter. I was doing something mundane like mowing the lawn or something and I started thinking about the sacrifices of healthcare workers. There are lots of great people doing lots of great things. I didn’t just want to focus on the negative, though, so I decided to look at some of the positive things they were doing. That was how I came up with the name.”

The ”Sacrifice and Light” project is designed to highlight healthcare workers who are not only working long hours during the pandemic but could be putting themselves at risk for contracting the virus. Mollura wants to emphasize that the project is not just for doctors and nurses.

“It is for anyone working in healthcare,” Mollura said. “It is for receptionists, custodians, anyone who is putting their own lives on the line to treat people. It is not just for the Milford area either. We want to highlight anyone in healthcare and I would love to see this go nationwide. Because this is done over video chat, we can create portraits from anywhere.”

Mollura is also working with artists who are creating frames for the photos. Using a white canvas, Mollura can project original artwork on the surface to add unique frames to the portraits he creates. He believes this will help promote Milford’s art community due to the multi-disciplined approach.

In addition to the “Sacrifice and Light” project, Mollura has also been hosting a Milford Community Lens page on Facebook for the past two years. It began as a monthly photo walk where he had residents walk around and take photos related to a theme he posted. He was planning to create the Summer 2020 subject list when the pandemic began.

“I wanted to keep it going but I knew we had to make some adjustments because of the quarantines and closures,” Mollura said. “I decided to start doing it every day and it exploded. We now have over 200 members. Jenn Rowan of Lifecycle offered to take over on Fridays to give me a break because this has grown so popular. This summer, we hope to have a few guest hosts providing some of the subject matter. It is a positive thing we can do during this trying time.”

The Milford Community Lens page can be found on Facebook and anyone who wants to participate simply needs to join the group. Despite its name, the page is not strictly for people in Milford and Mollura hopes that people from around the world will contribute. He also believes that as the group grows, the art community in Milford will be promoted globally. Anyone who is interested in being part of the “Sacrifice and Light” project can go to the Facebook page where there is a “Book Now” button. That will take them to the scheduling page where they can provide details for a video session.

Categories
Health milford-live

Positive COVID-19 Cases Reach 4,575

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing 12 additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is providing an update on the number of positive cases and recovered individuals. As of today, more than 1,000 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. All data reported through the daily updates are based on data received as of 6 p.m. the previous day.

In total,137 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 32 to 103 years old. Of those who have died, 69 were females and 68 were males. A total of 63 individuals were from New Castle County, 23 were from Kent County, 50 were from Sussex County. One county of residence is currently unknown. Eighty-six of the deaths have involved residents from long-term care facilities.

DPH will provide demographic information for COVID-19-related deaths in aggregate only, and will no longer provide demographics of each individual person who died.

The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 60 to 101. Six were female and six were males. Six were New Castle County residents, five were Sussex County residents, and one ​involved an unknown county of residence​ at this time. Eight of the 12 most recent deaths involved individuals with underlying health conditions. Nine individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

Governor Carney’s thirteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, requiring Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings, including in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and on public transportation, went into effect at 8:00 a.m. today. Governor Carney’s order recommends but does not require children aged 12 or younger to wear a face covering. Any child age 2 or younger MUST NOT wear a face covering, due to the risk of suffocation.

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Monday, April 27, include:

4,575 total laboratory-confirmed cases
New Castle County cases: 1,701
Kent County cases: 728
Sussex County cases: 2,114
Unknown County: 32
Males: 2,083; Females: ​2,456; Unknown: 36
Age range: 0 to 103
Currently hospitalized: 337; Critically ill: 60 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
Delawareans recovered: 1,096
16,605 negative cases*
*Data are provisional and subject to change. Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis.

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal. The data on My Healthy Community will supplement, not replace, the daily case data displayed on de.gov/coronavirus.

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions – including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment – might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Statewide testing at standing health facility testing sites require a physician’s order or prescription to be tested (*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). These are not walk-in testing sites. Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-866-408-1899. In New Castle County, individuals can call ChristianaCare at 1-302-733-1000 and Sussex County residents who do not have a provider can call the Beebe COVID-19 Screening Line at 302-645-3200. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Categories
Schools

MSD to Honor the School Lunch Heroes

Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, Milford School District nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Milford schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 1. This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to nearly 30 million of America’s students each school day.

“School nutrition employees must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools. School Lunch Hero Day provides the opportunity for the community to thank these hardworking heroes” said Sharon R. Forrest, RDN. Federal nutrition standards ensure that school cafeterias always offer low-fat or fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. School meals also meet limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats.

The Milford School District is providing meals at 4 locations during this COVID-19 pandemic. Meals are being served using a drive through model, whereby families can pick up two days’ worth of meals at a time, limiting the necessity for daily trips. These meals are prepared, packed and delivered by school nutrition staff with assistance from the custodians. In the past month, we have prepared over 16,000 breakfasts and 17,500 lunches. The staff members have been working tirelessly through this pandemic and we want to show our appreciation for their hard-earned work, not only for what they are doing now, but throughout the year, serving the children of our communities. Meals can be picked up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am-12:30pm. Pick-up locations are at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, Mispillion Elementary School, Morris Early Childhood, and Mt Zion African Methodist Church.

Categories
Government & Politics

Gov. Declares Sussex “Covid-19 Hot Spot”

Governor John Carney on Tuesday declared Sussex County a hot spot for COVID-19 in Delaware and announced the initial schedule for the State of Delaware’s Coordination and Care community testing sites. Testing and outreach will occur in several Sussex communities that are at the center of Delaware’s COVID-19 epidemic. Governor Carney first announced the community testing and outreach partnership among the state, hospital systems, and others last week, with an initial focus on Sussex County.

The testing sites and outreach will be conducted in coordination with the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), hospital systems, Federally Qualified Health Centers, community organizations, and Sussex County employers. Testing is geared to reach the following high-risk populations: those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, those living or working with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, family members or housemates of those working in the poultry industry, and those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, or compromised immune systems.

“Sussex County has become a hot spot for COVID-19, especially in areas along the Route 113 corridor,” said Governor John Carney. “We are working with community partners to expand testing sites and share educational information in those communities. It’s critical to protect your family and yourself by following the guidance from the CDC and the Delaware Division of Public Health. Most importantly, stay home. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to call 2-1-1 for more information and assistance. Dial 9-1-1 for an emergency. It’s critical we all work together to get through this.”

Residents of Sussex County will receive emergency alerts on their phones through the Delaware Emergency Management Agency about the hot spot in Sussex County, as well as messages in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education and local school districts. Community members will see printed educational materials at testing sites and within existing food delivery services, increased billboard placements, and social media and digital advertising across the county stressing the urgency of the COVID-19 hotspot in Sussex County.

The State of Delaware and its partners tested more than 750 individuals last week during the first expansion of COVID-19 community testing in Sussex County. More than 35% of test results at the community testing events were positive for COVID-19.

Late last week, Governor Carney requested assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist in community testing and contact tracing efforts. The CDC has sent an epidemiology team to Delaware to help quantify the spread of the disease downstate, combat the COVID-19 crisis in Sussex County, and make recommendations to prevent even more widespread transmission.

“We are incredibly grateful for the CDC’s expertise, and assistance as we work to quantify and understand the spread of COVID-19 in Sussex County,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “This Epi Aid team will approach the issue from an epidemiological perspective and work to quantify the extent of the spread of the disease in Sussex, identify the transmission routes and provide recommendations for us to consider in mitigating the spread.”

The focus of community testing sites is employees of essential businesses, family members of at-risk populations, those exposed to someone with COVID-19, or someone caring for a sick family member with COVID-19. The testing sites involve both rapid and nasal swab testing, immediate case investigation for positive cases, connection to a resource coordinator for services like food and housing for those who are positive, and care kits to be given to individuals being tested. Care kits will be given to people who have a high risk of household transmission and do not have the means to purchase the supplies themselves. A doctor’s order or referral is not needed for these sites.

Each of the health care systems in Sussex County is participating in this community testing effort. There will be bilingual staff on site. The timing and locations of initially scheduled community testing sites are below. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital also anticipates beginning community testing within the week and will provide details for their testing plan once details have been finalized.

Community Testing Site hosted by Beebe Healthcare in the parking lot between JD Shuckers and the Veteran’s Administration off of Rt. 404 in Georgetown: Wednesday, April 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Community Testing Site hosted by Bayhealth at the DHSS State Services Center in Milford located at 253 NE Front Street: Thursday, April 30 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Community Testing Site hosted by Beebe Healthcare in the parking lot between JD Shuckers and the Veteran’s Administration off of Rt. 404 in Georgetown: Friday, May 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Community Testing Site hosted by Bayhealth at the DHSS State Services Center in Milford located at 253 NE Front Street: Saturday, May 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Community Testing Site hosted by Beebe Healthcare in the parking lot between JD Shuckers and the Veteran’s Administration off of Rt. 404 in Georgetown: Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Community Testing Site hosted by Bayhealth at the DHSS State Services Center in Milford located at 253 NE Front Street: Monday, May 4 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

“Bayhealth is proud to have our team assisting with the COVID-19 testing in Sussex County, and we remain committed to supporting all statewide efforts related to fighting this pandemic,” said Terry M. Murphy, FACHE, Bayhealth President and CEO. “We are very proud of our collaboration with the Governor’s office, the Division of Public Health, and our healthcare partners throughout the state. Bayhealth continues to serve all of our communities in central and southern Delaware through our Coronavirus Management Team screening hotline and with our referral-based drive-thru screenings, and by providing care to those who need it. Bayhealth’s community coronavirus management plan has proven a very effective system with an average of 450 people tested weekly for a total of 2,700 tested to date.”

Categories
Culture Headlines milford-live Weekly Archives

The Weekly Review – April 28, 2020

Read this week’s edition at https://new.delawarelive.com/milfordlivede/review/April%2028.pdf 

Headlines of the week:  Milford Photographer Honors Essential Workers; Mobile Pantries Feed Struggling Families; ILC Dover Meets Rise in Healthcare Demands; DE State Fair Does Not Include Concerts; DPH Investigating Sussex Increases COVID-19; Gov. Requires Residents to Wear Face Coverings; Treating COVID-19 through Recovered Patients; Keep Fit During Coronavirus Quarantine; MSD to Honor the School Lunch Heroes; Del-One Federal to Transform Member Experience; City Annual Election Rescheduled, June 13; Schools Closed for Remainder of Year

PLUS SPORTS including Friday Night Lights Recognizes Student-Athletes.
 


Read this week’s edition at https://new.delawarelive.com/milfordlivede/review/April%2028.pdf

 

Categories
Culture Headlines milford-live

Mobile Pantries Feed Struggling Families

Food Bank of Delaware recently hosted three mass drive-thru mobile pantries for struggling families across The First State. The last of three mobile food pantries was held in Georgetown with over one hundred thousand pounds of food, ready to serve more than 2,500 households in Sussex County. The Food Bank of Delaware with the help of the National Guard, State Police, DELDOT and many others came together for the community in Southern Delaware.

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”1156″ display=”basic_slideshow”]

Categories
Culture Headlines milford-live

DE State Fair Does Not Include Concerts

Planners for the 2020 Delaware State Fair (July 23 -August 1, 2020) in Harrington, DE knew since March that this year’s fair was going to be different, that is, assuming that public health and elected officials in Delaware declare it’s safe for area residents to gather and traverse the fairgrounds later this summer.

One aspect of the fair recently determined to be impossible to include in this year’s event involves the ticketed concerts in the M&T Bank Grandstand and the Quillen Arena’s Q-Series.

Since the Fair started announcing performers and selling tickets back in November, the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the State of Delaware’s timely and decisive responses over the last 60 days to try to mitigate its serious public health threat are developments being closely watched by the Fair’s officers, 78 member Board of Directors and staff.

“While no one knows for sure where we will be in late July in terms of Governor Carney’s plans to re-open Delaware’s economy, one thing for sure is that the M&T Bank Grandstand and Quillen Arena Q-Series concert and show environment are not currently flexible enough to support the concept of social distancing as we understand it” stated Fair General Manager Bill DiMondi on Friday.

The very crowded conditions that go hand-in-hand with M&T Bank Grandstand and Quillen Arena concerts and shows are inconsistent with state mandates under Governor Carney’s current declaration of a state of emergency due to COVID-19 according to Fair President Ron Draper. He continued, “While the Board of Directors is disappointed that so many Delmarva residents will not be able to experience the first-rate lineup of talent and shows previously scheduled for the nights of Saturday June 13th (Quillen Arena) and Thursday July 23rd – Saturday August 1st in the M&T Bank Grandstand, the health and safety of our community is our highest priority.”

GM DiMondi advised that The Delaware State Fair intends to provide full refunds to all ticket buyers who purchased their tickets directly from the Fair. Refunds will follow the purchasers’ original method of payment and should be processed within the next 30 days. A more precise description of the refund process will be posted on the Fair’s website on Monday April 27, 2020. As an act of support for many of the Fair’s junior livestock exhibitors, ticket buyers will be given the opportunity to allot a portion of their refund to support the annual livestock auction, the proceeds of which are received by young exhibitors who sell their market animals at the conclusion of the livestock competition.

There is still hope among fair staff and a multitude of volunteers that this year’s 101st annual event, minus the grandstand shows, will still be held in some form or another as they continue to be remotely but actively engaged in the very detailed planning process.

Assistant General Manager Danny Aguilar explained that the entire staff and volunteer departmental leaders are working daily exploring and developing numerous means and methods that can be successfully implemented to thin out crowd size and permit appropriate social distancing behavior throughout the fairgrounds. Aguilar continued, “The concerts always brought big crowds to the fairgrounds between 5PM and 9PM each evening and with the elimination of the concerts and other M&T Bank Grandstand entertainment, crowd size can be better managed. The Fair is working to flatten its time of admission curve for each day.”

Aguilar explained that concepts being considered include patron selected gate admission time periods giving visitors the opportunity to plan their arrival time on the grounds earlier in the day when attendance counts are very low and making available online no-cost ticketing for on-grounds attractions like the circus so that capacity can be safely managed and individual show waiting lines can be minimized. If permitted to open, the Fair plans to actively managing the number of patrons permitted inside all of the buildings, barns or tents during operating hours just like the practices recently adopted by many supermarkets and big-box retailers. Plans also include live – streaming livestock shows and judging events to allow friends and relatives of junior livestock exhibitors the opportunity to “virtually” attend and enjoy these competitive events from their homes.

Fair Manager Bill DiMondi emphasized that this year’s Fair, if permitted to be held, will reflect significant operational adjustments aimed at meeting or exceeding evolving public health mandates. Providing an opportunity for a healthy physical distance between visitors will play a significant role in allowing the Fair to play its role in contributing to the healing of our community, emotionally and physically. DiMondi said, “Each annual Fair is a celebration of community in the most inclusive sense and a cherished tradition for many people in this area. Fair directors and staff will do their absolute best to present a Fair that meets the mandates of the public health officials and our Governor, John Carney.”