The COVID-19 crisis has put World Dairy Expo (WDE) between a rock and a hard place. While planning continues to hold the show September 29 through October 3, show officials are very cognizant of the challenges ahead.
“Expo continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on our show,” says Scott Bentley, WDE general manager. “As we move forward with planning, please know that future health declarations and well-being and safety of Expo exhibitors, attendees and volunteers are of utmost importance and will guide our future decision making.
“Out of respect of the heightened economic hardships our industry faces, a final decision to hold or cancel WDE 2020 will be made by the WDE Executive Committee on July 1 and communicated extensively,” he says.
It should be noted that the Alliant Energy Center, the large commercial exhibit space where WDE is held on the Dane County, Wis., fairgrounds, could become Wisconsin’s second alternative COVID-19 care facility. In early April, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for help to develop the Alliant Energy Center to support local hospitals.
The first such alternative facility is planned for the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee.
In a statement released by Evers: “This second alternative care facility will be an essential backup facility to ensure our healthcare system in the southcentral region is not overwhelmed…. Hopefully, this second site will not be needed, but we must prepare for it now so we are ready.”