Uintah County Statement on Carnival Cases of COVID-19

Uintah County issued the following statement on the closure of the City of Fun Carnival after its opening on Thursday: “City of Fun Carnival contacted Western Park in Vernal on June 11 to find out if the facility was available and interested in hosting the carnival this year. Western Park manager Derk Hatch confirmed the facility’s availability and advised the carnival operator that she would need to meet all conditions set by TriCounty Health Department, Vernal City, and Uintah County to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before being allowed to use the venue. On June 17, City of Fun Carnival submitted an event plan to TriCounty Health Department because Uintah County was still in the “Yellow” phase of the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery plan at the time. Requirements for fencing around the event, face coverings for employees, physical distancing while waiting in lines, and sanitation of rides were detailed in the plan. On June 19, Gov. Gary Herbert moved Uintah County to the “Green” phase of the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery plan. On June 25, the carnival opened at Western Park and was operating under the requirements outlined in the June 17 event plan, according to Hatch. Later in the evening of June 25, the Utah Department of Health notified TriCounty Health that at least nine carnival employees had tested positive for COVID-19. The county has learned that these individuals were tested on June 18 in American Fork, Utah, prior to coming to Vernal. Their positive test results were not reported until June 25. The county and TriCounty Health immediately closed the carnival upon learning of the positive test results. The county echoes TriCounty Health Officer Jordan Mathis’ request that individuals who attended the City of Fun Carnival on June 25 in Vernal:

  • actively monitor themselves for symptoms, and if symptoms develop seek testing and then self-isolate;

  • practice appropriate physical distancing and wear a face covering when in public or at work; and

  • avoid any contact with high-risk individuals, including those who are 65 or older or immune-compromised.

Uintah County remains in the “Green” phase of the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery plan. Western Park will continue to host events this summer, including the Outlaw Trail Theater’s performances of “South Pacific” and the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo. Visitors to these events and others in our community are encouraged to use common sense, practice good hygiene, and engage in physical distancing. In circumstances where physical distancing is not possible, a face covering should be worn to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “There are risks associated with many of the things we do every day,” Uintah County Commission Chairman Brad Horrocks said. “It is up to individuals to personally decide what amount of risk is acceptable for them or take steps to reduce the risks.””


Thank you for clarifying next steps

Of course Brad Horrocks would say that it’s up to the people but him being in that position should of thought of the people first Like a leader would do He mad a mistake that he can clear say sorry for an take extreme cautious next actives That are coming up hopefully he gets them all tested before they set up even if they tested before have them test again with our tri county health My prayers go out to the families an individuals that went to the city of fun may all your test be negative

person Jane
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I’m thankful, you recognize the importance of allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves.

person Richard Pickering
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No need for rudeness

This is not the time for the blame game. Brad Horrocks isn’t the bad guy. Actually nobody here is responsible for the actual virus. We as individuals are responsible for our own-selves period. Everyone knows that the virus exists and should practice good hygiene and social distancing without being told a thousand times. You should already know better. Life happens and you are crazy if you think that Vernal wasn’t going to be hit with this. No place is completely safe from this. As Americans we are not used to being caged in. As Americans we have the right to choose to go into public situations. And if you are one who feels worried about it then stay home and stop complaining already!

person Heather May
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A venue that is traveling all over the country purpleshould not have been allowed in to the city. It had nothing to do with personal safety after their already here . this was not a very wise decision for Dirk hatch to make

person Upset
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You made the News on Utah TV. Yes, you made a mistake letting the carnival in before checking with all the employees and people associated. This one slipped through, please for all of our health, be more careful with the up coming events you mentioned. The Dinosaur Rodeo - require a recent test on all participants before they are allowed be there. Including the competitors and the people providing other services such as serving food. And yes you are responsible for our health and lives in this matter. Brad said we all take risks in our daily lives, but why not be extra careful and reduce the risk if possible. We all make choices and decisions we later regret, please recognize that this decision was a bad one. Thanks for your service to the community.

person withheld
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Set us free!

I'm a person at high risk of death if I pick up this virus. Amongst other things, I have a case of chronic bronchitis. I'm following the guidelines and stay clear of various events and gatherings. My wife and I are well prepared at home but I'm also using extreme caution in the few times I may need to go into a store or public place. I don't expect anyone to wear a mask to protect me. I don't expect events to close just because I won't attend. I absolutely believe in freedom and in choice.

When I go out in public I wear a mask. I might catch a little bit more eye contact than normal, but no one says anything. And if they do, who cares. If you see someone with a mask and think they're silly or weak or chicken-shit, remember that freedom of choice goes both ways and I choose to protect myself because I'm at risk.

Furthermore, again coming from a person who is at high risk of death, I believe closing everything down and canceling everything is dragging this out unnecessarily. If everyone was allowed to be free, to just go about their daily lives, this highly communicable virus pass through people like wildfire. Most people are carriers and show no symptoms. Other show symptoms and test positive but recover without issues. A small percentage get sick and even less die.

I happen to be in a lucky position for the circumstances. But not everyone is so lucky. Some people at risk of death are having to choose between their life and their income. This choice would be much easier to make if the general public had the freedom to live normal. Because they could choose life over income for a short period of time. This sounds backwards to most who are afraid, but by reopening everything and allowing individuals to make the choice to go to work or to go to events, the virus will be able to make its way through the general public and this pandemic would pass. Then those of us at risk who choose to stay away for things, could return sooner.

It's okay to be afraid. It's also okay to not be afraid. Reopen. Give people choices. This will pass much faster then this unnecessary delay.

person Freedom will prevail!

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