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108 COVID-19 cases linked to Northwest Washington Fair so far

Virus Outbreak covid test
Ted S. Warren
The Associated Press file
A nurse at a drive-up coronavirus testing station set up by the University of Washington Medical Center holds a swab used to take a sample from the nose of a person in a car Friday, March 13, 2020, in Seattle.

Health officials said Thursday that 108 COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden.

Whatcom County Health Department spokesperson Jennifer Moon told The Bellingham Herald in an email Thursday that the number may continue to increase as they continue to investigate cases.

After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fair returned with an extended 10-day schedule that ran from Aug. 12 to Aug. 21.

Although fair officials track the number of people who visit the fair north of Bellingham they previously declined to release this year’s attendance numbers to the newspaper.

“What we are seeing regarding the fair highlights the need for masking or other precautions when attending large events, given our high case rate right now,” Moon’s statement said.

The Herald has reached out to the Northwest Washington Fair for comment.

As part of its effort to reduce contact between vendors and customers, the fair rolled out a contactless payment system called BlastPass for concessions. But technical difficulties led to organizers allowing vendors to accept cash and BlastPass credits.

The fair website also said it achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council Star accreditation, which it called “the gold standard for prepared facilities,” prior to the event.

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