COVID-19 precautions in place at Fair Food Shindig in Chippewa Falls

With Chippewa County now at a high risk level for COVID-19 the health department is keeping an eye on the event this weekend.
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 4:55 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Fair Food Shindig in Chippewa Falls is helping to fill a gap this summer after the fair is canceled due to COVID-19. However, this event comes at the end of a week when Chippewa County moved to a high risk level for COVID-19.

As people come to get their fill of fair food at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds this week, organizers and health officials have worked out a plan to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“Safety and concern for the public are the two big things we really wanted to safeguard,” says Rusty Volk, Executive Director of the fairgrounds.

Volk says to maintain social distancing, “X” marks have been taped to the ground to show people where to stand in line, picnic tables are spread apart from each other and people are encouraged to take the food to-go. The bathrooms have one way traffic and “touch free” hand sanitizer stations have been installed.

Jim Koehler of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health has been working on plans for the event with Volk and says he is confident of the guidelines in place.

“The Northern Wisconsin State venue is very compatible to people spreading themselves out,” Koehler says.

Masks are required for food vendors and recommended for visitors.

“If you cannot stay the six feet apart that is when they are recommended and with the grounds the way they are set up we are doing our best to provide that six foot separation,” Koehler says.

Event attendees like Scott Liebelt of Eau Claire say they feel safe at the event with these precautions in place.

“Everyone is kind of keeping distance from each other so I think generally people are doing a good job doing what needs to be done at this point,” Liebelt says. “It is good to get out here with my dad and grab lunch.”

By lunchtime on Friday, Volk says people have been respectful of the social distancing guidelines in place.

The Fair Food Shindig is open at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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