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Illinois State Fair requiring masks, proof of vaccination or negative test for 2021

Officials have announced new guidelines to mitigate the spread of the Delta variant at the Illinois State Fair later in August.
Illinois state fair record

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State officials have announced that the Illinois State Fair will be seeing guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant at the fairgrounds.

Officials announced the new guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Department of Agriculture in a press release on Friday, August 6, less than a week before the start of the event on the 12th in Sangamon County.

The guidelines comes in as concerns about the spread of the Delta variant have kicked into gear, with mask mandates and health guidelines reappearing in many areas across the country.

For the State Fair, masks will be required in all indoor settings and at Grandstand concerts regardless of vaccination status, and the unvaccinated will be encouraged to wear masks at all times. Masks will be encouraged for people watching or participating in the Twilight Parade.

Additionally, ticketholders for the grandstand track area standing room will be required to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show.

Carnival workers, vendors, and concessionaries will be wearing masks and cleaning high touch and traffic areas, such as sitting and picnic areas, carnival rides, the Grandstand, Coliseum and Multi-Purpose Arena.

“The safety of our attendees has and will always be our first priority at the Illinois State Fair,” said Jerry Costello II, IDOA Director. “We will continue to offer a world-class entertainment and agricultural showcase while prioritizing the health and safety of attendees.” 

All fairgoers are encouraged to get vaccinated, and the carnival will also be offering vaccination sites at six places throughout the fairgrounds:

  • Illinois Building
  • North Side of Happy Hollow Entrance 
  • Brian Raney Avenue 
  • Avenue of Flags      
  • 4H Lane 
  • Livestock Center

Officials say that anyone feeling sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the fair.

Illinois's response differs from the also upcoming Iowa State Fair, which will not be requiring masks, vaccination proof, or capacity limits, which has caused local health experts to preach caution to reduce personal risk.

The Illinois State Fair will be held on August 12 - 22 in Springfield.

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