Uintah County released the following statement Friday morning:

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.”

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