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How to attend the 2022 Farm Show safely in COVID pandemic | The Sentinel: News

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Mary Klaus for the Sentinel

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced Thursday that the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will run Jan. 8-15 and take place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. β€œEach year, the Pennsylvania Farm Show chooses a theme to convey our vision for the future of Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Redding. “Having grown virtually in 2021, it is only natural that we harvest more in 2022 as we meet again in Harrisburg, we will showcase a bounty harvested from innovative projects, sustainable practices, self-reliant farmers, engaged youth and Inspirational stories from our powerful agriculture industry, I hope you join us as we harvest more together in Harrisburg this January.



For decades, people attending the Pennsylvania Farm Show have taken basic health precautions, such as wearing warm clothes and washing their hands before eating. In this age of COVID-19 and its variants, they must do more.

β€œMore than ever during the pandemic, we are living in uncertain times,” said Dr. Mohammad Ali, infectious disease specialist at Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center and Hampden Medical Center. “This omicron variant has a doubling time of 2.5 days.”

The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show opens Saturday and runs through January 15 at the Farm Show Complex on Cameron and Maclay streets in Harrisburg. Admission is free but parking is $ 15.

Last year’s Farm Show, a virtual event, lacked the food and fun of the event in person. This year, what is billed as the nation’s largest indoor agricultural show will be held at the 24-acre complex at a time when more than 70% of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the omicron variant is working.

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β€œWe’ve had the pandemic for two years,” he said, β€œand people are tired of COVID. They want to do things like go to the Farm Show. They don’t want to put their normal life on hold. Yet even if the omicron variant causes less severe illness, an explosion of it could really tax the already overburdened healthcare system. “

Ali said that before going to the Farm Show, people should do a risk assessment to see how vulnerable they are to COVID-19. If they have symptoms – which can mimic flu and cold symptoms – they should be tested to see if they have COVID. Not everyone should attend the Farm Show, he said.

β€œThe unvaccinated shouldn’t go to the Farm Show or any large organized public service inside,” he said, β€œbecause the chances of contracting COVID are high. If you haven’t had two shots, you shouldn’t go either. Even people who have received two Moderna or Pfizer vaccines could have a breakthrough infection. “

He said people who have had two COVID-19 vaccines and a booster are protected from serious infection or hospitalization. He said they could attend the Farm Show if they wore a good mask, which he defined as an N95, KN95 or KF94.

β€œThese types of masks are better than surgical or cloth masks at filtering 95% of particles,” Ali said. β€œCOVID-19 is an airborne disease and these masks filter out particles in the air. “

Some people shouldn’t attend the agricultural show no matter how badly they want to, the doctor said.

β€œEven if you are vaccinated, if you have high risk factors, it is not a good idea to go,” he said. β€œWe are still in a dangerous period. Omicron could cause billions of infections around the world. You can’t take every precaution all the time. So if you are not due to attend but know someone who is going, ask that person to bring Farm Show food to your house.

People who choose to go to the Farm Show should wear masks, Ali said, although Gov. Tom Wolf has said he has no plans to make masks mandatory at the Farm Show. Farm Show Complex workers and other state employees have been required to wear masks in all indoor settings since Wolf ordered them in August.

β€œIf you haven’t had your second shot, get it,” Ali said. β€œIf you haven’t received your booster shot, do it. And if you can’t get any of the N95 masks, wear two of the other types of masks, surgical or cloth. “

Those who attend can visit the state health department’s booth to get free flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Ali said visitors to the Farm Show should not remove their masks, especially if they are in crowded areas. He suggests buying Farm Show food to take home rather than eating in the usually crowded food court.

When asked if he would attend the show, Ali responded with a “no.” I would not go to the Salon de la Ferme this year, even if I am vaccinated and vaccinated. There are too many people under one roof.

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