Del Mar Fairgrounds officials working to postpone all March events due to coronavirus

(Staff photo)

Officials at the Del Mar Fairgrounds are working on rescheduling all March events due to concerns about coronavirus, fairgrounds spokeswoman Annie Pierce said Thursday, March 12.

Del Mar Fairgrounds CEO Tim Fennell said on Tuesday, March 10, during a meeting of the state-appointed board of directors that oversees the fairgrounds, “At this time, we are not canceling any events, we’re moving forward.” On Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the cancellation or postponement of public gatherings in auditoriums, stadiums and similar types of locations.

So far, organizers of four events scheduled for this weekend at the fairgrounds have made other plans.

Crossroads of the West announced online that its gun show has been canceled, the SDCCU Biggest Used Car Sale will instead take place at participating dealerships, the spring bridal show and wedding expo has been postponed to May, and the high school robotics competition has been postponed.

There are currently no changes to the county fair, scheduled to run June 5 to July 5.

The World Health Organization recently announced that the worldwide number of coronavirus cases surpassed 100,000.

The fairgrounds will be providing hand-sanitizing stations and other measures for the safety of the venue’s employees and visitors, according to a fairgrounds news release.

“We’re going to stay calm, cool and collected here at the fairgrounds,” Fennell said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We’re going to deal in facts.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath and coughing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older people and people with certain kinds of preexisting conditions, such as lung disease or diabetes, are more likely to develop a serious illness if they contract coronavirus.

As of March 10, two people in California have died from coronavirus, and 157 people have been diagnosed.

In San Diego County, there is one case of coronavirus: a woman in her 50s who is currently listed as presumptive positive. Test results must be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before officially becoming positive.

Wilma Wooten, a county public health officer, said in a county newsletter that local officials knew there would be cases of coronavirus in the region and were prepared to handle them.

“The public should be assured that we are following CDC guidance and continue taking appropriate steps to keep the novel coronavirus from spreading,” she said.

County officials say the risk of contracting coronavirus in San Diego is currently low, but urge residents to be prepared by storing two-weeks of food in case of quarantine, buying medicine and planning for possible school closures.


2:42 p.m. March 15, 2020: Updated with additional Del Mar Fairgrounds event cancellations.