COVID concerns at Toyota Field fair prompt extra precautions

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MADISON, Ala – The Rocket City Trash Pandas teamed up with Kissel Entertainment to host a 10-day ballpark fair at Toyota Field.

When the gates opened at 3 p.m. Saturday, a steady stream of vehicles filled the outer parking lots of Toyota Field. Fair staff was seen cleaning each ride as people exited. Trash Panda management said a special sanitation spray is deployed all day on high tough surfaces.

Our crew at the fair saw most people were wearing masks, but some families were not seen with a face covering. They were also not eating or practicing social distancing.

“I have asthma. So with a mask being on, it’s hard for me to breathe so I chose not to wear one,” said one woman.

Alabama’s safer at home order includes a mask mandate that doesn’t expire until Aug. 31.

“We do require masks. Kissel Entertainment requires masks. Obviously fair food is a walking food. While you eat you walk at the same time,” said Lindsey Knupp, the Trash Pandas VP of Marketing & Entertainment.

Last week Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said having a fair was doable. However, he did express concern for the possibility of seeing a county-wide spike in COVID-19 cases after such an event.

“Somebody you walk past is probably COVID positive,” Spillers said.

News 19 spoke with families having fun while also wearing a mask. They all expressed a need to find normalcy.

“It’s kind of here to stay. You still got to find a way to live and have fun,” said Tynaesia Russell, a Huntsville resident.

The Trash Pandas have been hosting as many socially-distanced events as they can. The team was expecting to play their inaugural season before COVID-19 struck the nation. By hosting events, management says they can keep their employees while attempting to recoup start-up costs.

To date, Trash Pandas management has successfully avoided COVID-19 cases.

“As far as we know, anyone that has come here has left and not had any symptoms from being at an event of ours,” said Knupp.

The fair runs through August 29th. For more information, click here.

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