SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Shasta County Health Officials say the May 10 Cottonwood Rodeo "jeopardizes [the county's] ability to reopen businesses."
Health officials say the rodeo on Sunday violated Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order and has delayed the county's ability to reopen retail businesses, restaurants and more during Stage 2.
On May 8, just days before, Shasta County Health Officer Karen Ramstrom attested the county met the criteria for a "regional variance", allowing the 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.
Then, on May 10, The Cottonwood Rodeo took place against the Governor's orders of prohibiting mass gathering until Stage 4 of his re-opening plan.
Health officials say they reached out to the rodeo organizers last week but he refused to cancel the event.
Action News Now first reported during the rodeo that thousands of people attended, most of whom were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
"This caught the attention of not only alarmed and disappointed county officials, but also “Good Morning America” and other state and national news," said health officials.
The rodeo has come to the attention of Governor Newsom and health officials say this is now delaying full implementation of business reopenings in Shasta County, "as well as greater state agency enforcement of the Governor’s order."
As advised by health officials, mass gatherings are very high-risk events that can spread coronavirus to multiple individuals at one event.
"[We] condemn this mass gathering and officials are taking steps to investigate the event and will take action accordingly," said health officials.
“I am not happy and the state isn’t happy and it’s impacting the approval of our variance,” said Dr. Ramstrom. “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.”