Local radio station won’t broadcast live at fair because COVID guidelines are too relaxed

WCCO Radio said it cannot "in good conscience" allow its employees to be exposed to people attending the fair who may "knowingly or unknowingly" have COVID-19.

Minnesota State Fair/Facebook

A local radio station has decided it won’t broadcast live at the Minnesota State Fair because the COVID-19 guidelines are not strict enough.

WCCO Radio made an announcement Thursday that it cannot “in good conscience” allow its employees to be exposed to people attending the fair who may “knowingly or unknowingly” have COVID-19.

The fair recently released its COVID protocols and won’t require proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend. Fairgoers are encouraged to wear masks, but that is not mandated either.

WCCO’s management team said they hoped the state fair would “find a way to limit attendance, require vaccines or proof of negative tests, [or] find ways to mask attendees in crowded areas.”

“The Fair chose the ‘honor system,’ and for our decision-makers, it is not enough to feel comfortable,” WCCO continued.

Citing the Delta variant, WCCO management point out in their statement that Minnesota is “in better shape” than other states in the U.S., but the spread of the virus “is still a concern,” according to their expert sources.

Other large festivals have implemented stricter guidelines on vaccinations and testing, WCCO said. Lollapalooza in Chicago required vaccines and did not see any surge in COVID cases, and the upcoming Summerfest in Milwaukee has similar rules in place.

“Meanwhile, state fairs in Minnesota and Iowa have decided not to add those same guidelines,” says the announcement. “The return of large group gatherings without precautions can significantly increase the possibility of transmission of COVID. The data is clear.”

The radio station says they “greatly look forward” to the Minnesota State Fair in 2022.


Rose Williams

Rose Williams is an assistant editor for Alpha News.