You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Officials work to keep fairgoers safe

After Ohio outbreak last year, Clark County steps up education efforts.Strollers, food and drinks should not be taken into livestock barns.

After a fair season in which people nationally were sickened by a strain of swine flu spread through animal contact, the Clark and Champaign County fairs are taking extra precautions this year to ensure that local fairgoers remain healthy.

The Clark County Fair, which opens today, is trying to prevent illness by putting up eight additional hand-washing stations, in addition to the hand sanitizer dispensers at the barns.

Fair officials are banning food and drinks from inside barns, and also are banning things in the barns such as strollers and sippy cups that may put small children at risk for infection.

Signs will remind people to wash their hands.

Last year from July through November, 307 cases of the H3N2v flu were reported nationwide, with 107 in Ohio. Locally, 15 cases were reported in Champaign County and three in Clark County.

“Sanitation and hand-washing are the two biggest things we are working on,” said Allan Hess, executive director of the Clark County Fair. “Our best advice is to tell people to wash their hands frequently.”

The fair won’t have anyone monitoring the barns to make sure people don’t bring in prohibited items, but Hess stresses that if people want to minimize their risk of illness, they follow the regulations.

“Practicing good hygiene can help prevent illness,” said Tessie Pollock of the Ohio Department of Health.

The Ohio Department of Health is recommending that high-risk groups such as pregnant women, small children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems avoid visiting animal exhibits.

Along with advising fairgoers on hygiene, the fair is also giving animal owners some guidance. Owners are advised to not bring animals that are showing signs of illness to the fair. If an animal is already at the fair and then proceeds to show signs of illness, the animal can be treated at the fair.

The Champaign County Fair, which runs Aug. 2-9, is taking a similar approach to ensure that fairgoers are educated on the proper hygiene when attending.

According to Tom Tullis of the Champaign County Fair, each 4-H student is required to go through training in sanitation, as well as having their animals tested to make sure they are not carrying the flu virus.

The fair is also adding sanitation stations to the barn areas to encourage fairgoers to wash their hands before and after interacting with animals.

As with the Clark County Fair, things such as food, drinks, strollers and sippy cups are not permitted inside barn areas. There will also be signs letting fairgoers know of the rules.

Animals transported between the Champaign County Fair and the Ohio State Fair will be inspected for signs of flu. Those carrying the flu will remain with their owners.

The Clark County Fair runs through July 26.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

FRESH IDEAS: The jolt of love and wanting

From The Hedgehog Review: “To love is to be jolted out of the self by the strangeness of another person, and the beloved entrances precisely because of his unutterable difference — the most basic and insuperable absence. He is absent even when he is present because he is other, situated outside of myself: ‘But isn’t desire always...
TODAY’S MODERATOR: Is there a driver shortage?

More mail on the recent news that the state is considering legislation to boost the number of commercial truckers. This came in from reader Michael Huff, who says, in part: ”With regard to the so-called trucker shortage, a lot of owner/operators and small carriers would disagree. I own a small (less than 10 trucks) carrier and our thought is...
GUEST COLUMN: Cleaning out the closet of life

Sorting through a childhood closet is not for the sentimental-hearted. It can leave you at a standstill surrounded by tokens of memories chronicling the life of a family. Where do you even begin to let go? Our two sons shared a room always. Over the last 28 years, their common closet has accrued grade-school book reports, sports trophies, chess sets...
South Charleston man accused of punching police officer after fight
South Charleston man accused of punching police officer after fight

A South Charleston man has been accused of punching a Springfield officer who broke up a large fight Monday evening. Trey Michael Smith, 18, of South Charleston, appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Tuesday on assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and obstructing official business charges. He pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at...
COMMENTARY: Can Democrats save Trump from himself?

After President Donald Trump’s first legislative battle, a deplorably stingy attempt to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, went down without a vote in the House, I wondered: What happened to all of the “winning”? “We are gonna win, win, win,” Trump had promised at a National Rifle Association...
More Stories