Woodbridge carnival opens amid pandemic


WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WDVM) — Carnivals are allowed to open according to Governor Northam’s phase three reopening, as long as they follow protocol, but the Family Fun Extravaganza leaves residents and county officials with mixed feelings. 

Summer is usually full of carnival fun for families. But this year, many have not been able to open due to coronavirus guidelines.

District supervisor Margaret Franklin is apprehensive about the carnival’s opening. She has reached out to state officials in an effort to receive more permit flexibility for future events.                                                                                                     

“I expressed concern when I was first told about it before it opened but because what the governor is allowing, obviously these types of events can take place. The best we can do is to make sure they are abiding by the safety protocols” said Franklin.

Woodbridge has some of the highest Covid case numbers in the Commonwealth. Franklin wants to be cautious about events in an effort to stop the spread.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry. You know, I want to have a carnival too, but we just have to think about is now the right time to do so”  Franklin stated.

Carnival operator John Stephenson showed me around the carnival, before it opened, and directed my attention to hand sanitizing stations and socially distanced markers placed throughout.

He’s limiting the amount of people in at a time to 250 even though Virginia’s guidelines allow 1,000.  

 “We’re keeping it 250 at a time in here, and we count the people going in, the people going out, so we make sure we’re giving good family fun but also being safe at the same time” said Stephenson.

When entering, each person has their temperature checked, including employees.

“Each one of them had covid testing and get their temperatures every day before they go to work” Stephenson stated.

Extra officers are staffed to patrol the carnival, making sure attendees are wearing face masks at all times.

We asked our Facebook viewers if they would attend a carnival if CDC guidelines were followed, so far only 36% said they would.

The carnival will be open through Sunday.

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