SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: The Fiesta San Antonio Commission said on Wednesday that it will be taking precautionary steps during some events amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In a letter addressed to Participating Member Organizations, the commission said it will be following guidelines from the International Festivals and Events Association, which include being in contact with the local health department.
According to the letter, there will be additional surface wipedowns, and hand sanitizer dispensers will be provided during media day, all in-store events at the Fiesta Store, Fiesta Fiesta, fan zones and the Taste of Fiesta Parade viewing party at Travis Park. Vendors will also be required to wear gloves.
“Fiesta Carnival will have hand sanitizer stations and will add other measures as need,” the letter said.
Amy Shaw, executive director of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, said that every event is different and handled by different nonprofits. The commission is planning to host a meeting between organizers and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District to make sure any questions are answered.
Shaw said the commission has been working closely with Metro Health and will continue to do so to ensure that Fiesta goes on without a hitch and that it keeps the community healthy and safe.
Officials with the Fiesta San Antonio Commission told KSAT on Monday they are monitoring the coronavirus situation, but are still planning to go forward with the two-week celebration as scheduled.
That’s the latest after San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a state of disaster and public health emergency in San Antonio on Monday.
The mayor said the state of disaster and public health emergency would be in effect for seven days unless continued or renewed by the city council. Fiesta is scheduled to run from April 16 to April 26.
Over the weekend, organizers of Austin’s SXSW festival said that event will go on as planned from March 13-22. An online petition signed by more than 20,000 people, as of Monday afternoon, urged organizers to cancel SXSW due to coronavirus concerns.
Amy Shaw, the executive director of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, said there is a major difference between the two festivals. SXSW brings in attendees from across the globe, while most people who attend Fiesta live within 50 miles of San Antonio, she said.