A rodeo in Cottonwood on Sunday violated the governor’s stay-at-home order and has delayed the county’s ability to re-open retail businesses, restaurants and more during Stage 2.
On Friday, May 8, Shasta County Health Officer Karen Ramstrom attested that Shasta County met criteria for a “regional variance,” which would have allowed Shasta County to re-open businesses including retail, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, office-based businesses, outdoor museums and childcare facilities.
The Cottonwood Rodeo then happened on Sunday, May 10, against the governor’s orders that prohibit mass gatherings until Stage 4 of his re-opening plan. Shasta County officials reached out to the rodeo organizer last week and he refused to cancel. A television story reported that some 2,000 people attended, most of whom did not practice social distancing nor wear masks. This caught the attention of not only alarmed and disappointed county officials, but also “Good Morning America” and other state and national news.
The rodeo has come to the attention of the governor, delaying full implementation of full business openings in Shasta County, as well as greater state agency enforcement of the governor’s order. Mass gatherings are very high risk events that can spread COVID-19 to many individuals at one event. The County condemns this mass gathering and officials are taking steps to investigate the event and will take action accordingly.
“I am not happy and the state isn’t happy and it’s impacting the approval of our variance,” Dr. Ramstrom said. “We’re all frustrated. It was inappropriate and it put the community at risk of disease transmission among attendees and the people they are in contact with, which could include vulnerable people who did not attend. It jeopardizes the ability for all Shasta County businesses to move forward into full Stage 2 opening, which delays our economic recovery.”
— Shasta County Health and Human Services press release