Idaho Events: “We Saw The Writing on the Wall”
It's something that we all thought wouldn't happen as the public was optimistic about returning to normal. Last year, events large and small, outdoor and indoor, were canceled, or local health agencies imposed attendance restrictions; however, with the creation of the Covid vaccines, everyone thought that we'd be back to normal. However, with the Delta variant continuing to infect large portions of the population, is it only a matter of time before we see attendance restrictions return?
The Idaho Press has reported that several events planned for the Fall are being canceled over rising Covid rates. As we said last month, Saint Alphonsus has canceled its Festival of Trees for the second year in a row. Other cancellations include Saint Luke's Fit One and the city of Meridian's Oktoberfest.
Boise State is counting on an entire season of home sellouts after last year's abbreviated season. The university will now require everyone to wear a mask who's attending a home football game. Masks are not a popular item in the Gem State. Will the mask requirement hurt attendance at home games?
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As we reported yesterday, Governor Little is urging Idahoans to get vaccinated. Although vaccinated people are still getting sick with the Delta variant, will the city or state restrict large gatherings once again? Or will the economic ramifications outweigh public safety concerns?
Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, explained her reasons for canceling their event to the Idaho Press, "We saw the writing on the wall." She expanded on that explanation, saying it's about caring for the public.
“By having an annual event outside with several hundred people, potentially we could be responsible for the potential additional spread of COVID-19,” she said. “We weren’t interested in being the mask police and having folks wear a mask.”
Will other event organizers share her concern for public safety or will economics rule the day?