Skip to main content

WCCO Radio won't broadcast from Minnesota State Fair over COVID-19 safety concerns

The station said Thursday it is pulling out of the fair, noting staff health and safety come first.

WCCO Radio, a staple of the Minnesota State Fair, will not broadcast from the beloved event this year over concerns about COVID-19 and health protocols.

The decision, announced Thursday by station management, cites the State Fair's COVID guidance, in which organizers are urging — but not requiring — attendees to wear face coverings in certain situations. Nor will the fair require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test before entry.

While acknowledging the fair has its reasons for these decisions, WCCO Radio said it had hoped for additional mitigation measures that would allow for the station's staff to return to the fairgrounds.

"The Fair chose the ‘honor system’ and for our decision-makers, it is not enough to feel comfortable," WCCO Radio's statement reads.

Related: State Fair could be COVID 'super-spreader event' without mask mandate, lawmakers argue

The State Fair, in explaining its decision Wednesday, said policing a mask mandate would simply be too challenging at such a large event, particularly with the mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as the continuous food and drink consumption.

Organizers instead appealed to Minnesotans' good nature, asking attendees to comply with the event's masking recommendations "not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

That wasn't enough for WCCO Radio management, which acknowledged it "struggled" with the decision because it's so important to connect, face-to-face, with listeners and supporters.

"However, we can’t in good conscience put any of our staff in a position to be exposed to someone who either knowingly or unknowingly has COVID — or cause anyone on our staff to be an unwitting carrier for someone back home who might be immune-compromised," the announcement reads. "For our work family, we take this very seriously. Their health and well-being should always come first."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 3.36.57 PM

Scott County attorney candidates differ on marijuana possession

Scott County is one of a few Minnesota counties where the incumbent prosecutor is facing a challenger in November.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Teen charged in shooting outside of Richfield football game

Due to the age of the suspect, the case won't be made public.

Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 9.05.08 AM

Twin Cities Summer Jam no more: popular festival brought to an end

The festival noted how the land they host camping on has recently been sold.

image

Expect major traffic delays on Renaissance Festival's final weekend

Scott County officials said road closures will be to blame.

Voting survey vote election

Ramsey County sends out ballots with deceased candidate on it

The county said it's addressing the issue with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 12.30.28 PM

New haunted house experience coming to Inver Grove Heights

The exhibit will feature family-friendly and 18+ events.

Wayzata High School

Niche rankings identify best Minnesota schools, districts

Eden Prairie has schools ranked in both the private and public categories.

unnamed

Walker, The Current announce end of Rock the Garden festival

The Walker Art Center and Minnesota Public Radio announced the festival will retire so the organizations can dream up new events.

Related

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

State Fair reveals COVID rules: People urged – but not required – to wear masks

The fair is asking guests to follow its guidance "not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do."

FLckr - mn state fair crowd - keithminer

State Fair could be 'super-spreader event' without mask mandate, lawmakers argue

The group is urging the State Fair to rethink its just-announced COVID recommendations.

minnesota state fair

State Fair could require masks indoors, capacity limits not ruled out

Things could change before Aug. 26, but an indoor mask mandate appears likely.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

340 COVID cases have been linked to the MN State Fair

About 1.3 million people attended the event over the 12 days.

Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair 2021

2021 MN State Fair passes half a million guests in 5 days

This comes after Monday's attendance total wasn't far off from the 2019 number.

Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair

At the midway point, how is MN State Fair attendance stacking up?

Here's a look at how this year's numbers compare to the four most recent fairs.