City evaluating Fiesta events on case-by-case basis for coronavirus risks, official says

by San Antonio CurrentMarch 11, 2020
Girls wave at the Fiesta Flambeau Parade last year. Photo by Kara Hawley | Heron contributor

By Sanford Nowlin | San Antonio Current

The city of San Antonio is assessing the potential danger the COVID-19 virus presents during Fiesta on an event-by-event basis, Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick said during a Texas Public Radio appearance Monday.

The 10-day citywide festival, scheduled to kick off April 16, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to more than 100 events. Many of those attract packed crowds.

"You have to look at the entire environment," Emerick said. "You have to look at the event itself. How big is the event? Where is it going to be held? Is it indoor? Is it outdoor? So, all of those things are going to be taken into consideration."

Emerick told TPR the arrival of COVID-19 test kits could help officials decide whether to cancel or postpone Fiesta events. However, she added that no single factor that would prompt a decision to shut down the festival.

"All the things my smart staff do, we just don’t have that data," she said. "So, I do think, over the next several weeks, we could have some data to make those determinations."

Fiesta is one of the largest such festivals in the United States. Planning for the party is underway as other Texas cities cancel large-scale events including Austin's SXSW festival and the Houston Rodeo.

This article is republished with permission from the San Antonio Current.

The San Antonio Current, San Antonio’s award-winning alternative media company, has served as the city’s premiere multimedia source of alternative news, events and culture since 1986.

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