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Country festival leads to coronavirus outbreak in Colorado



Luke Combs was among the artists at the Country Jam music festival, where Colorado health officials say a COVID-19 outbreak occurred.  (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)

Luke Combs was among the artists at the Country Jam music festival, where Colorado health officials say a COVID-19 outbreak occurred. (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)

AP

A country music festival in Colorado that featured many popular artists has led to a COVID-19 outbreak, officials say.

Officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment say four employees and 13 attendees from the Grand Jamction Country Jam Festival received COVID-19 after attending the three-day event.

The Outdoor Music Festival on 24-26. June saw Luke Combs, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood as headliners. Ashley McBryde, Tanya Tucker and Kip Moore were among the other singers who performed.

Organizers of Country Jam have not publicly commented on the COVID-19 outbreak, nor have the three main artists.

About 24,000 country music fans attended the festival each day, according to The Daily Sentinel. It is the largest country music festival in Colorado, the newspaper reported.

Attendees at the festival were encouraged to wear face masks, but this was not necessary. The festival asked patrons to keep at least 3 feet of social distance from people who are not in their group.

The festival also included a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, according to The Daily Sentinel.

A couple from Arvada, Colorado, believe they got the virus from the festival. The vaccinated couple told KMGH that it was the first concert they had attended since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“It was so funny. We have been in lockdown for over a year, ”Chris Biondini told the station.

Mesa County, where the festival was, has more cases of the delta variant than any county in Colorado, according to Kaiser Health News.

The health department did not specify whether the cases were of the delta variant or how many have been admitted.

“We’re doing national news for our COVID variant, and the CDC is investigating here, but we have a huge festival where people are not masking,” said Dr. Rachel LaCount to KHN. “Will we get herd immunity over here just because everyone gets it?” I mean, it’s likely to happen at some point, but at what cost? ”

Many major music festivals take place throughout the United States this summer and fall, including Lollapalooza in Chicago, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee and Austin City Limits in Texas.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 graduate of Western Kentucky University who has previously worked at Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a news reporter.
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