South Austin carnival kicks off with safety protocols to help prevent spread of COVID-19

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Along with a mask mandate, a new order banning gatherings of 10 or more people started Friday. Outdoor activity areas are allowed to stay open, including sporting events, zoos and amusement parks.

A South Austin Crabtree Carnival has popped up. KXAN has received several messages from people concerned with the safety protocols at the carnival.

“Everybody is touching the machine, kids with cotton candy and their sticky hands. There’s a ton of touching involved,” said South Austin Resident Justin Lucas Small. “It’s usually packed, really packed. They’re traveling, they’re moving. It’s bringing a ton of people in and then potentially spreading it, going elsewhere.”

Sarah Bertozzi, the carnival’s personnel director, says things won’t be the same this year. The facility is capable of holding thousands, but fewer then 100 people will be allowed in at a time.

“It’s not close corridors,” Bertozzi said. “I would hope people feel comfortable coming out and seeing that we have done everything we can to protect a person.”

Crabtree Amusement has installed a solar-activated cleaning product on all rides, staff will spray a cleaning product called ‘prime time’ after riders exit each ride, and hand sanitizers will be readily available. Employees and patrons are also required to wear masks, and will have their temperature checked. Finally, tickets will not be used.

South Austin Crabtree Carnival staff will spray a cleaning product called “Prime Time” after riders exit each ride. (Kaitlyn Karmout/KXAN News)

“Is that event going to be policed? It kind of contradicts what officials are wanting — what they are wanting us as a city and population to follow,” said Justin Lucas Small.

Friday, KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout did see Austin’s Code Compliance outside the carnival checking on its safety measures.

“If you’re concerned and you’re afraid, then you have to make that decision for you and your family,” said Bertozzi.

The same protocols were used last week at the carnival in Buda. Bertozzi says she expects people may have to wait outside since they only plan to let 100 people in at a time.

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