71 COVID-19 cases tied to Calgary Stampede: Officials

Roughly 529,000 people attended this year's Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede returns in a limited form for 2021. SPENCER YU / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Calgary Stampede officials said they were informed that it’s likely 71 people contracted COVID-19 as a result of attending the 10-day festival.

Stampede officials provided the update as they were advised by Alberta Health on Tuesday. They said the cases represented seven cases per day, or a total of 0.01 percent of the 528,998 attendees. The cases were identified either during or following the Calgary Stampede.

The Calgary Stampede created an environment with a wide-open midway, fewer vendors and rides and digital queuing to create a safer COVID-19 environment.  They also had sanitization stations around the grounds.

At Nashville North, they relied upon proof of vaccination or rapid testing for patrons to enter. Stampede officials said previously that 75 per cent of people provided proof of vaccination. They also administered 60,000 tests and refused entry to 18 people.

“The Stampede has gone above and beyond when it comes to safety measures, and events across the country can learn a great deal,” said Dr. Jia Hu, public health physician advising the Stampede.

“In context, over the past two weeks, 749 cases were reported across Alberta. The low number of cases associated with the Stampede is not unexpected and reinforces the safe operating measures put in place along with the effectiveness of vaccines.”

Many of the guests who spoke to LiveWire Calgary during the event said they felt measures in place provided a feeling of safety and security.

“This year, our community celebration was the first step in the safe return of live events for our city and our country,” said Dana Peers, Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“We believe Stampede 2021 was a success. We committed to operating safely, and these results show the effectiveness of the enhanced safety measures that were put in place.”

The Calgary Stampede also said that as a result of health protocol for Calgary Stampede personnel and rodeo athletes in the bubble, there were no reported COVID-19 cases from that group.

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