Weekend events draw thousands; local officials take precautions

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - There are a lot of events scheduled on East Texans' calendars which means a lot more people have the potential for exposure. For that reason some are worried, but stuff is being done about it.

"We are open, we've got a lot of vendors here [and] we expect a big trade days," said City of Canton secretary Julie Seymore.

She says close to 300,000 people will be in Canton this first Monday weekend. She says vendors and city personnel are taking extra precautions by disinfecting public areas often. Emergency management officials say they're ready to act just in case.

"This is an unknown," said Seymore. "It'll be something new for us if we have to respond to it."

But it is new for the folks looking forward to the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Tyler.

"This chance of rain, that might damper it a little bit, more than the flu that's going on," said Price Arredondo.

Arredondo is not too concerned. He says the show will go on as planned and doesn't anticipate any problems.

"Take the basic precautions [by] using common sense," he said.

"For right now, everything is on as normal," said Jeff Olive, pastor of Dayspring United Methodist Church. "We don't pass an offering plate, we pass a popcorn bucket."

The church meets inside the Carmike Theater, but Olive said his congregation is well-updated on the issue.

"Jesus taught us to be smart and not fearful, and as long as we're educated on what has taken place, we have nothing to fear," he said.

Chancellor Ruben Natera is with the Diocese of Tyler, and they're taking no chances. In an email, the Diocese is asking parishioners to avoid shaking hands and hugging this Sunday during communion. He said priests will be the only ones drinking from the chalice.

"In the church, we are very concerned about the health and care of the human person," said Natera. "If we're going to protect life, we're going to combat those things that attack life."

And maybe a trip to the flea market, concert, or regular Sunday service won't make you sick.

Everyone we spoke with reiterated if you have any flu-like symptoms, the best thing to do is just stay at home this weekend to help keep everyone else, safe and healthy.

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