By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman advised the State Fair Board at their meeting on Tuesday that they should cancel the fair.
"If I were only talking about it from a public health perspective, it would be best to not have the State Fair," Norman said. "There's no question, it will engender illness."
Norman doesn't think fairgoers will wear masks.
"I think it will be a really tough sell for people to comply with social distancing and mask wearing for example, at a fair, whether it's a state fair, county fair, music venue, that kind of thing," Norman said. "People just aren't doing it, quite honestly."
Another concern is that inmates from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility often work helping to clean up the fairgrounds.
"I'm making the strong recommendation to Secretary Zmuda to not allow the offenders out of there," Norman said. "I've been through this at Lansing, I've been through this in the Wichita Work Release. If a few people go into that facility, there's going to be a thousand cases inside the correctional facility at Hutchinson. Not being hysterical, that's just what we've seen. Anytime it's a confined living situation like that and that facility is old."
At least sixteen other state fairs across the U.S. have already been canceled.