‘We’re all frustrated’: Officials say rodeo delays Shasta County’s reopening plan

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SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Shasta County officials said a local rodeo has set back their plans to reopen more businesses and workplaces amid phase two of California’s reopening plan.

On Sunday, the county says the Cottonwood Rodeo took place despite officials’ warnings and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, which prohibits large gatherings. County officials say the organizer refused to cancel the event when they contacted him last week.

Just days prior, Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom said Shasta County would be sending documentation to the state about reopening additional businesses during phase two. Those businesses would have included dine-in restaurants, malls, car washes and child care facilities.

“We anticipate being able to take part in what the governor described as a county’s ability to move more rapidly through phase two if we are prepared, and we feel we’re prepared to do so,” Dr. Ramstrom said during the May 6 video briefing with officials. “So, we will be submitting our documentation to the state before Friday about our readiness to be able to fully open up in phase two.”

County officials say they are investigating the event.

“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,” Dr. Ramstrom said in Monday’s press release.

As of Monday, Shasta County has had 32 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths as a result of the virus.

“I am not happy and the state isn’t happy and it’s impacting the approval of our variance,” Dr. Ramstrom said about the rodeo. “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.”

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