Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) issued the following statements on the rodeo held in Bowden May 1-2:
“Like so many Albertans, I was angered by the rodeo held this weekend near Bowden, in violation of the public health restrictions in place. Since Day 1, we have worked with the CPRA and many other partners to implement protocols and help safely resume the sport, when and where possible. We are proud to work with them, local MLAs and all other stakeholders who work diligently to find ways to protect the health of everyone involved and stop the spread of COVID-19.” explained Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health.
“The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association is continuing to work with Alberta Health Services, our rodeo committees and other rodeo associations to bring about the return of our sport. As an organization, we are focused on the long-term good for rodeo, the celebration of our western heritage and getting back to doing what we all love as soon as it’s safely possible to do so,” added Jeff Robson, general manager, CPRA.
The Wildrose Rodeo Association, Lakeland Rodeo Association, Bullriders Canada, Chinook Rodeo Association, and Foothills Cowboys Association support this statement.
• Health officials have met with rodeo associations since January to share information and support a safe return, when possible.
• Health officials have worked with rodeo partners to identify safe guidance protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These were implemented in April.
• Protocols include:
◦ no spectators
◦ risk assessment for each rodeo activity
◦ infection prevention procedures
◦ daily symptom checks
◦ contact tracing
◦ rapid response plans
◦ testing for anyone who cannot maintain two-metre distancing throughout the event
• An official exemption is required to legally host a rodeo event in compliance with the safety protocols.
• Health officials will continue to work with the rodeo partners going forward to safely resume hosting events with crowds in the future, when possible.