Rodeo Jeopardizes Shasta County’s Ability to Re-open Businesses

Photo source: Facebook/KRCR TV

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

-from press release
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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Ed Marek says:


    Shasta county really needs to get a few thousands of these, and set them loose to help enforce “Stage 2″…

  2. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    As it turns out we weren’t ready for Re OPENING in the north state.

    The Shasta county BOS disregard for the COVID mitigation remains an embarrassment.
    Baugh must be elated in his campaign to deny science and create health risk for everyone.

    It was RV who reminded us Karen Ramstrom was not qualified to make that decision.

    Can we say cluster ……..?

  3. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Hopefully local restaurants, and others who believed the county and spent the money and resources to reopen will ask for a refund of those costs from the county.
    Thank Les for spending our tax dollars and misinforming county businesses.
    Now why is it we should trust your judgement?

  4. Avatar Diane Gilstrap says:

    We have a 180,000 people in Shasta County and 32 cases and 4 deaths. There are 40 million people in Calif and 2500 deaths. We have flattened the curve. Newsom said half of Calif. would be dead. Numbers don’t add up to put us under such strict guidelines and ruin our economy . There will be some new cases but we should be punished for them.

  5. Avatar Candace says:

    Sure would like to know which County Supervisors and Sheriff Dept. officials attended the Cottonwood parade and sat in the stands cheering on the rodeo folks. I have a couple hunches. “We don’t need no stinkin’ masks”. Covid Cowboys! Yee haw! Come get your virus on!

  6. Avatar Second Wave says:

    Articles about Cottonwood hayseed rodeo in Europe and Australia now …. 🙁

  7. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    My comment on Facebook yesterday under the Record Searchlight’s article about the rodeo:

    “I hope the rodeo stunt was worth it to all the me-first attendees.

    The rest of us—including many small business owners—will share paying the price for your childish and irresponsible gesture, so: You’re welcome.”

    One of the most liked posts I’ve ever posted on FB—as you may already know, I’m usually the contrarian. I think most Shasta County residents see the rodeo as a self-righteous, selfish, stupid gesture that served only to set us back. Thanks a lot, Gomers and Goobers.

  8. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    It’s rumored that Jeff Davis, the rodeo organizer and Les Baugh, our Cottonwood Rodeo calf roper were seen doing the Virginia Reel later on that night at the Cottonwood Grange Hall. Is Les and his right-hand man ready to preside over even one death as a result of this idiot act ? Thanks for setting the rest of the county and businesses back a few thousand dollars. Pie in the face to the both of you.

  9. Chuck Prudhomme Chuck Prudhomme says:

    Having worked in the EMS business for many years in the past, people don’t realize that local hospitals will not have the ability to treat a major outbreak as a result of the flagrant violation of common sense and caution in this Rodeo! Doesn’t say much for Cottonwood when the virus spreads to your family and the ER’s are full!

  10. Avatar KRISTIN MOORE says:

    More reckless behavior from the red-necked, gun toting self-righteous cowboys (did I offend EVERYONE?) WHO SUPPORTED THIS DANGEROUS, IRRESPONSIBLE GATHERING OF PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTY. If not for yourselves. did you not think about the most vulnerable people in your circles??? Shame on Davis, the organizer, and all those who will eventually be identified as allowing this event to occur. Hopefully, voters will respond to this mindset and Mr. Davis will face a backlash that he never thought possible

  11. Avatar Eric Mills says:

    The rodeo promoters, participants and attendees should ALL have been cited & fined for public health endangerment. Not to mention animal abuse.

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