Marshall County residents concerned about carnival opening during COVID-19 crisis

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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – After taking a few months off due to COVID-19, Clanton-based Kissel Entertainment is back at work and bringing a carnival to Marshall County, which now has more than 1,800 positive coronavirus cases.

Marshall County is considered a major hotspot as it now has the fifth most total confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.

The Albertville Summer Carnival opened Wednesday night.

It has some residents really concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in an already inundated county.

“We’re supposed to be under safer at home order. Everything else has been cancelled because of COVID and then they want to put a carnival up,” said Horton resident Trela Nelson.

Nelson told WHNT News 19 she lost her job because of COVID-19, and her children’s graduations have been affected.

She is among many who told WHNT News 19 they are worried about the spread of the deadly virus at the carnival.

“I think it will make more people sick. It will spike again because it’s already really bad right here,” said Nelson.

Kissel Entertainment’s Madison Kissel said they are doing everything they can to keep the carnival as safe and healthy as possible.

“It’s a much slower process but we’re able to bring fun and excitement to the communities that have had almost nothing for so many months,” explained Kissel.

While guests are not required to wear masks, all employees are.

Kissel said workers must clean each ride and game parts, like basketballs and darts, between guests.

She added that they must social distance guests that are from different households

“I just don’t see how that’s still going to be feasible to do. Makes no sense for them to have it,” said Nelson.

Throughout the carnival are hand washing stations and a cleaning crew sanitizing major touch points.

Kissel told WHNT News 19 they follow the strict safer at home guidelines because the company’s 120 employees need to get back to work.

“If we weren’t able to open and keep going, we’d have 120 people with literally no homes to go to,” explained Kissel.

Some carnival goers said while they are concerned about COVID-19, they wanted to get out and have fun.

“I do believe they wouldn’t have it open if it wasn’t safe for us to come out and enjoy it. I feel like they’re making us to feel comfortable enough to where we can come out and enjoy the day instead of scared and stuck in the house,” said Boaz resident Noel Everett.

“I don’t feel like I’m at risk. I don’t wear mask because I stay my 6 feet apart. There’s sanitizer, people are wearing masks like they’re supposed to be doing. Everybody’s doing their part, no one is getting close to each other,” said Altoona resident Brianna Thomas.

The carnival does have masks to give out to patrons if they want one.

There are also cleaning wipes available for those who want to clean the ride they’re about to get on themselves

The carnival runs through Sunday, July 12, 2020.

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