On May 15,  the Purdue Extension announced the future of 4-H fairs across the state in light of COVID-19. With the announcement behind them, local county officials now are tasked with final decisions.
The announcement from Purdue Extension was favorable for those still wanting to attend their local fair this summer. County 4-H fairs can occur after the Purdue University restrictions on face-to-face events ends June 30. Now local 4-H fair boards, 4-H councils and county extension educators may continue planning for events through June in alignment with Indiana's Back on Track plan and consultation with local health officials, according to the press release Purdue Extension released on Friday.
The release also included information that pertained specifically to the local 4-H fairs and when they could start.
County 4-H fairs may begin on July 4 if local health officials confirm the county has reached stage five in Indiana’s Back on Track plan. Local fairs will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines, screen employees and volunteers working on behalf of Purdue Extension daily and follow industry best practices regarding disinfecting high traffic areas and offering hand sanitizer and cleaning stations to employees and guests.
After the announcement from Purdue University Friday, Jennifer Logue, Purdue Extension 4-H youth/ANR extension educator and CED in Union County, held a short conversation with board members to discuss the announcement.
“We had a short conversation tonight and discussed all of the necessary precautions that we need to take,” Logue said in response to an email.
“Ranging from masks, social distancing, and insurance. The board is looking over the steps needed to be in place to have an in-person fair.”
Initially, Logue hoped to have an announcement regarding fair plans for Union County on Monday, May 18. However, the Union County 4-H Association is very concerned about the public's safety and wanted to take additional time to discuss all safety precautions put in place by Purdue
University to ensure the best decision is reached.
“My county did meet on Friday for 30 minutes so I could let them know what the precautions would be and they had time to think about their decision before Monday,” Logue said. “It did turn out to be a lot of information, and they needed a little more time to think things out. We want to make sure we are protecting our 4-H youth, 4-H volunteers and their employees. I want people to know the board is doing their best to keep the community safe and to offer up the educational opportunities that 4-H is known for.”
Logue expects a final decision by the end of the week.