SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – If you’re going to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo next month, you may have to take a COVID-19 test.
Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, who tested positive for coronavirus January 15, says he doesn’t want the rodeo to become a ‘super spreader’ event at Freeman Coliseum, which is a county facility.
“We don’t want the county to be having the egg on our face that the Canelo fight had with the Alamodome, and I know people who got positive at the Alamodome,” Calvert said at Tuesday’s virtual meeting of Bexar County Commissioners.
He wants to avoid the backlash San Antonio city leaders got following the boxing match in December between Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith, which drew about 11,000 people. Online photos and videos showed people crowding together and failing to comply with social distancing guidelines and mask requirements at the Alamodome.
As many as 4,000 people are expected daily at the Stock Show and Rodeo and Calvert is suggesting that the county help pay for tents where rapid COVID testing can be conducted, similar to the tents set up outside the Texas State Capitol.
“It doesn’t quite make sense for the rodeo committees to meet via zoom with 40 or 50 committee members, but then you’re going to have 4,000 people and you meet in person,” said Calvert.
He made the suggestion during a discussion of a $1.4 million addition to the LiftFund grant to help restaurants and bars that have been affected financially by the pandemic.
County Commissioner Trish DeBerry agreed with Calvert’s proposal to provide rapid COVID testing at the rodeo, but she wants to make sure that the money isn’t coming from the LiftFund. As a small business owner, DeBerry said helping out small businesses is “a passion point for me” and she noted that “the restaurant and bar industries have been devastated by this pandemic.”
Commissioners made no decision on a plan or funding for the coronavirus tests at the rodeo. They’ll discuss it when they meet again February 9.
The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is scheduled February 11-28.