Fans are reacting with fury on social media after the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo shut down earlier than scheduled on Wednesday. The shutdown was announced after health authorities declared a health emergency in Houston and Harris County.
The declaration of a health emergency in Houston comes amid increasing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus infection in the Houston area. It also comes after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic.
The decision to shut down the rodeo was announced in a statement released by the organizers, according to Click2houston:
“In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to close. The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the city’s order. The Rodeo is deeply saddened. However, the safety and well-being of our guests and our community is our top priority.”
Shutdown was announced after a coronavirus case reported
According to Click2houston, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the decision to declare a health emergency “did not come easily.”
The rodeo, which started on March 3, was originally scheduled to run until March 22. But the authorities were forced to shut down the show after a positive case of coronavirus was reported in Montgomery County on Tuesday. The patient had no recent travel history and health authorities said that there was evidence of community spread not directly related to travel.
The mayor added that the health emergency declaration will continue for seven days after which the city council would vote to decide whether to extend it.
Montgomery coronavirus patient attended rodeo BBQ
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the coronavirus positive patient from Montgomery County was a man in his 40s. Concerns arose after authorities found that the man attended the rodeo BBQ cookoff on Friday, February 28.
Hidalgo explained that authorities have since been working to retrace the patient’s recent movements and identify all the people he came into contact with for possible quarantine.
Meanwhile, the health authorities have reportedly quarantined residents of Montgomery County who have been identified as having come into contact with the patient. Non-residents were sent to the health departments of their respective local authorities.
Thousands attended the rodeo event
The authorities in Houston said that an estimated 73,433 attended the World Championship Barb-B-Que Contest held in Houston on Friday. About 77,632 attended the rodeo over the entire day.
Fans react with anger and fury
The announcement has sparked angry reactions on social media, with some blaming the media for hyping the coronavirus outbreak. Some fans have been complaining that the thousands of dollars people spent on preparing their animals for the show will be wasted due to the shutdown.
Canceling the rodeo isn’t about the concerts, like you can go to another concert it’s the fact or the matter that these kids have animals that have spent months preparing for and these dumb uneducated people of Houston are gonna take that away from them.
— nat (@natalieeeannne) March 11, 2020
Houston Rodeo cancelled due to Coronavirus. The media blowing up this disease is absolutely outrageous. $227 million and 3700 jobs lost over a panic.
— Shelby Mayfield (@ShelbylMayfield) March 11, 2020
Houston residents last week- “Fuck corona, they will never shut down the rodeo. Texans don’t care.”
— Glen ?? (@GlenKeepIt100) March 11, 2020
rt if you think @RODEOHOUSTON should still let it’s exhibitors show the livestock they’ve spent THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON.
— la vaquera pequeña (@BayleighNorman) March 11, 2020
Me finding out that they have canceled the Houston rodeo pic.twitter.com/2kcH2b4jDp
— TEXAS FOREVER (@_TexasForever) March 11, 2020
Meanwhile, Joel Cowley, president of the rodeo, said the organizers were setting up a process to refund people who purchased tickets to attend the event.
The organizers also assured people that they intended to fulfill this year’s scholarships, according to ABC 13.
Millions of people from across the country and around the world attend the annual event that funds millions in scholarships every year.
Montgomery case was not first in Houston area
That new Montgomery case was not the first coronavirus infection (COVID-19) reported in the Houston area.
A total of 14 cases had previously been reported, with two in Houston, five in Harris Country, six in Fort Bend County, and one in Montogomery County.