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The following was communicated to PEF members on Aug. 6 from PEF President Wayne Spence and Secretary-Treasurer Joe Donahue:

PEF will not be participating in the New York State Fair in Syracuse this summer.  We wanted to inform you of this decision and let you know our rationale.

We did not make this decision lightly, but after consulting with our Health and Safety Department and others, we feel the risks outweigh the benefits. Transmission rates of the Delta variant of the coronavirus are too high among vaccinated and unvaccinated people.  In a typical year, the Fair attracts more than 100,000 people from around the state each day for 18 days, and they expect a total of 2 million visitors.  Our vendor space is inside with high foot traffic around the booth.  It is likely that given the volume of people, the high transmission rate of the Delta variant, and the location of PEF’s booth, that the coronavirus could spread in that environment.

Given that we cannot ensure the health and safety of members and staff who volunteer to work at the State Fair, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest to not have a PEF booth this year.