Coronavirus COVID-19

While we had remained hopeful that the CA State Fair & Food Festival would be able to continue our 166-year tradition this summer of showcasing the best of California and entertaining the state’s residents and families, it’s clear the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future and that large gatherings should be postponed at this time.

Based on the advice of health experts and the continued guidance issued by the governor, the Cal Expo Board has decided to cancel the CA State Fair and Food Festival scheduled for July 17-August 2 until 2021. The health and safety of the community, our guests, and staff is our number one priority, and we agree with the measured, scientific approach that’s been implemented by the governor to combat COVID-19.

Our staff is working diligently on a strategy to safely reopen when appropriate and we look forward to the time when we can all gather again safely to celebrate the great things Californians have done and will do in the future.

Please stay safe and healthy and maintain physical distancing.

Please check below for our latest updates regarding COVID-19:

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Cal Expo has been extended.

If you want to take a test you must fill out a form at the Verily website and obtain an appointment time. Click here to schedule an appointment. Testing is available Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 1 pm. Participants must remain in their cars.

The tests are limited to determining whether the person is currently infected with the coronavirus. The test does not indicate whether a person was previously infected.

Eligibility Page:

Covid-19 FAQ:

Covid-19 Homepage:

From: California Department of Public Health

Statewide Public Health Officer Order, August 28, 2020

On March 19, 2020, the State Public Health Officer issued an order directing all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home except as needed to facilitate authorized activities or to maintain the continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors. (See March 19, 2020 Order.) The scope of activities authorized under this order was subsequently modified in additional state public health directives. Then, consistent with Executive Order N-60-20, the State Public Health Officer set out California’s path forward from this “Stay-at-Home” Order in California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. That Roadmap identified four stages of the pandemic: safety and preparation (Stage 1), reopening of lower-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 2), reopening of higher-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 3), and finally an easing of final restrictions leading to the end of the stay-at-home order (Stage 4). On July 13, 2020, in response to a significant increase in the spread of COVID-19, the State Public Health Officer ordered the statewide closure of operations in certain high-risk sectors. (See July 13, 2020 Order.) Counties on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days were also required to close additional indoor operations for certain sectors in order to further slow community transmission.

Community spread of infection remains a significant concern across the state. In addition to the impact on the general population, community spread increases the likelihood of expanded transmission of COVID-19 in congregate settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails and prisons. Infection of vulnerable populations in these settings can be catastrophic. Higher levels of community spread also increase the likelihood of infection among individuals at higher risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions who might live or otherwise interact with an infected individual. COVID-19 infection is also disproportionately impacting our essential workforce. The anticipated influenza season is likely to impose additional burdens on the healthcare delivery system, increasing demand for space, supplies, and personnel.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and CDPH is continually monitoring new scientific evidence and improving its understanding of the disease. Based on the current state of the pandemic in California and current scientific understanding of transmission, it is my judgment that it is appropriate to further refine the approach in order to gradually reopen businesses and activities while reducing the risk of increased community spread. A targeted system for sector reopenings which considers both current epidemiological conditions and the latest understanding of transmission risk in certain sectors will allow CDPH to monitor both counties and sectors for evidence of increased epidemiological risk and will reduce risk as California continues to reopen its economy and protect public health. California’s Plan for Reducing COVID-19 and Adjusting Permitted Sector Activities to Keep Californians Healthy and Safe sets forth in detail the basis for the new Framework.

Continue reading the order here.

From: California Department of Public Health

California Health and Human Services Agency Announces New Plans for COVID-19 Testing

SACRAMENTO – California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly today announced new plans for COVID-19 testing in California, including updated testing guidance, new requirements for health plans to cover testing, and the new co-chairs of the state’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force.

“Testing is a critical tool that helps us diagnose and treat those who become infected by COVID-19. Testing also helps us understand how COVID-19 moves through our communities so we can identify areas where transmission is occurring. Today we are redoubling our commitment to ensure testing remains a top priority for California,” said Dr. Ghaly. “Our testing capacity has increased exponentially in recent months. At the same time, new national supply chain challenges and large volumes of specimens sent to commercial laboratories have resulted in growing delays in processing times. Consequently, it is critical we continue to be deliberate and creative about testing. We must do this so that testing is readily available and affordable to those who need it, especially those communities experiencing the worst impacts of COVID-19 and those who are at the highest risk. Testing is a responsibility of our entire healthcare delivery system. Clinics, doctors, and other care sites should provide convenient testing to their patients who need a test.”

Today’s announcements include:

Testing Prioritization

The California Department of Public Health released updated testing guidance that focuses on testing hospitalized individuals with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and people being tested as part of the investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing. The testing guidance also prioritizes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and individuals without symptoms who fall into high-risk categories, including people who live and work in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons, healthcare workers, and patients in hospitals. The new guidance will ensure that Californians who most need tests get them even if there are limited supplies.

New Testing Task Force Co-Chairs and Goals

Two new co-chairs will lead California’s Testing Task Force, the state’s private-public partnership that has taken the lead role in expanding both the collection and processing of specimens for COVID-19 testing. Leading the task force starting immediately are Dr. Gilbert Chavez, founding chief of the California Department of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Bechara Choucair, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. Chavez, the state’s former epidemiologist who has led the response to disease outbreak and emerging health threats, is coming out of retirement to help lead the task force. Dr. Choucair oversees Kaiser’s efforts focused on addressing the social health of its 12.4 million members and the 68 million people who live in the communities it serves.

The task force, which was launched in April, created testing locations where there were none, expanded laboratory capability and helped build a testing supply pipeline, scaling up from just 2,000 tests per day to more than 100,000 tests per day. Under the leadership of Chavez and Choucair, the task force will recommend testing priorities, continue to create equitable access to testing and support for state-operated community testing sites, and review options to lower overall testing costs.

Health Plan Coverage of Testing

To help ensure that testing is widely available to all Californians, the state is working collaboratively with health insurers to provide reimbursement for testing and with private providers to create additional in-office testing capacity. With more providers performing tests in the office rather than referring patients to labs or testing sites, the state would have more resources to focus on underserved and high-risk populations. The state is preparing to file emergency regulations that will classify COVID-19 testing as medically necessary urgent care for essential health workers and people with symptoms of or possible exposure to COVID-19.

From: California Department of Public Health

California Orders Additional Restrictions to Slow Transmissions of COVID-19

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health today expanded statewide its indoor closures for businesses that encourage mixing of individuals beyond immediate households and make physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult. Affected businesses include restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums and cardrooms. These sectors may modify operations to provide services outside or by pick-up.

The state is similarly expanding statewide its order for brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs to close, both indoors and outdoors, unless they are offering sit down meals outdoors and comply with guidance issued on June 28.

Today’s order is effective immediately and the closures will remain in effect until the State Public Health Officer determines it is appropriate to modify the order based on public health conditions.

Counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days – currently 29 counties accounting for 80 percent of the state’s population – must close indoor operations for additional activities including:

  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Places of Worship
  • Indoor Protests
  • Offices for Non-Critical Infrastructure Sectors as identified at
  • Personal Care Services (including nail salons, massage parlors, and tattoo parlors)
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Malls

The 29 counties impacted by todays order include:

  • Colusa
  • Contra Costa
  • Fresno
  • Glenn
  • Imperial
  • Kings
  • Los Angeles
  • Madera
  • Marin
  • Merced
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • Orange
  • Placer
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Benito
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Joaquin
  • Santa Barbara
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Stanislaus
  • Sutter
  • Tulare
  • Ventura
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

“Due to increased COVID-19 transmissions statewide and rising hospitalization numbers in many communities, we are taking more actions today to slow transmissions of the disease,” said Governor Newsom. “Each of us has the power to slow the spread of the virus. Here’s how you can help: Avoid mixing with people who are not in your household. If you can’t avoid it, wear a mask, move indoor activities outside, stay physically distant and wash your hands.”

Community spread of COVID-19 continues to be a concern for counties on the County Monitoring List. Further, rates in counties not on the list have also been increasing at an alarming rate, supporting this expanded state action. As community spread increases, vulnerable populations, including older Californians and those who have chronic conditions or compromised immune systems, are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill due to the virus. Higher cases counts can also threaten the state’s care delivery system capacity.

“Moving outside when you’re at a restaurant, winery or gym is a key step to helping reduce the risk for yourself and others, but that doesn’t mean your actions don’t matter. Letting your guard down around people who don’t live with you, even a family member or close friend, puts you at risk,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “When you go out, wear a face covering, keep physical distance, and wash your hands. The decisions we make today will determine how COVID-19 impacts our communities and families tomorrow.”

Sectors included in today’s announcement are all at higher risk of transmission because they promote mixing with others outside of one’s household. In addition, some of these sectors are centered on eating and drinking, compliance with face coverings is not possible for the full duration of time someone spends in these establishments. All industry or sector guidance documents that have been issued to date, including all infectious control measures outlined in those guidance documents, apply in outdoor settings, and must be adhered to. The state will work closely with counties to ensure businesses are complying with guidance and are modifying operations to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

California will continue to update and issue guidance based on the best available public health data and the best practices currently employed. More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidance is on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.

More information about reopening California and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

Free drive-thru testing at Cal Expo is now open to all. You do not need a referral or show symptoms.

If you want to take a test you must fill out a form at the Verily website and obtain an appointment time. Testing is available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 1 pm.

Participants must remain in their cars. A Verily employee will take a swab sample from the participant’s nose. The process takes about 10 minutes.

The tests are limited to determining whether the person is currently infected with the coronavirus. The test does not indicate whether a person was previously infected.

Eligibility Page:

Covid-19 FAQ:

Covid-19 Homepage:

California is expanding coronavirus testing capacity daily. The latest screening criteria can be found here.

Governor Newsom announced COVID-19 Testing Task Force, a public-private collaboration that aims to quickly and significantly boost California’s testing capacity. The Task Force will work to scale up testing as demand increases.

OR, even without symptoms if you:

  • Work in a healthcare facility, such as a clinic, hospital, nursing home,  senior care facility, or other healthcare facility
  • Work in a jail, prison, or other setting of incarcerated persons
  • Serve as a first responder, such as an ambulance worker, law enforcement officer, or firefighter

Learn more about testing and treatment at California Department of Public Health Coronavirus Updates.

Obviously, the world has changed and we’re faced with challenging times. Right now, Cal Expo is doing everything it can regionally to assist with flattening the COVID-19 curve and help save lives. Our number one priority is the health and safety of the community and our guests. Cal Expo has taken to heart the comments made by the governor and state health officials and we are carefully considering all aspects and implications of hosting, postponing, or canceling the 2020 CA State Fair.

From Cal Expo: Calendar of Events Updated

For a list of postponed events on the schedule this summer and fall visit our calendar of events.

From Cal Expo: COVID-19 Emergency Trailers

As part of a collaborative regional response to the COVID-19 crisis, Cal Expo is working with state and local officials to help provide temporary COVID-19 emergency trailers on the Cal Expo grounds to homeless individuals within the County who have been deemed at-high risk of contracting the coronavirus by public health officials.

The temporary shelter, in the form of RV trailers are in Lot 26 surrounded by temporary fencing. The trailers will be under the control of City of Sacramento and will be monitored 24/7 to ensure the safety and well-being of all. Individuals who are temporarily sheltered will not have access to Cal Expo’s facilities, but will be provided with basic necessities by the city. Temporary shelter will be provided until at least June 30 or until seven days after the governor lifts his state of emergency orders, whichever happens first.

Cal Expo is pleased to do its part to help provide short-term assistance to those in need and has always considered itself as part of the statewide community. We will continue to do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve while maintaining normal business operations.

For any questions:
Sacramento County Emergency Management as a contact for homelessness Covid-19 or contact 211. A homelessness fact sheet (below) listed as a contact for additional information.

From CA State Fair: California State Fair Competitions Postponed

For more than 165 years, the California State Fair has showcased the Best of California. Although we’re faced with challenging times right now, the CA State Fair & Food Festival team remains optimistic. We are in continuous communication with our States’ leadership as well as our partners to keep our competitors, volunteers, and staff safe and healthy while we continue to plan for our competition season. We recognize the impact that the COVID-19 emergency has had on personal and professional lives. In an effort to provide the opportunity for competitors to continue to focus on business and personal recovery, competition opening dates have been postponed to April 13.

From Cal Expo: Drive-Thru Testing

Cal Expo is a part of the greater Sacramento Community and wishes to do our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve and help save lives.

As such, Cal Expo has partnered with the County of Sacramento to establish a COVID-19 testing site at Cal Expo. Due to limited resources, the testing site will be open to individuals who are considered “at-risk” and have qualified with an official notification from an appropriate healthcare professional.

We are asking members of the community not to show up without being directed by the appropriate medical professionals. Doing so could unintentionally put others at risk, cause dangerous delays, and jeopardize the health and safety of the healthcare professionals and County officials who are working judiciously to open and operate the site.

More information will be shared by the County of Sacramento when it becomes available. For more information about the testing site, contact the Sacramento County Department of Public Health.

Please refer all media calls to:

All community calls should be referred to their own health care provider.

From Cal Expo: Satellite Wagering and Harness Racing Update

Satellite Wagering

Following the advice of state leaders, as well as guidance from the California Department of Public Health, Cal Expo Simulcast will be closed until further notice.

Harness Racing

• Harness Racing is suspended for the remainder of the season.

• Satellite Wagering is closed to the general public until further notice.

From California Department of Public Health:

Mass Gatherings Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19

Media Alert: Cal Expo Increases Sanitation Measures for All Events


Flu Season and Coronavirus COVID-19

As part of the State’s response to address the global COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple State agencies and departments, and help the State prepare for broader spread of COVID-19. The Governor’s proclamation comes as the number of positive California cases rises and following one official COVID-19 death.

As an employer and a major event facility, Cal Expo is prudently monitoring and reviewing information related to flu season and COVID-19.  As we prepare for the growing number of events at the State’s fairgrounds, please know we remain in communication with our State’s leadership, as well as with our partners at leading organizations in the international festivals, fairs and event management business.  Additionally, we have been working to share related information with our employees, event promoters and business partners.

This week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an interim guidance document concerning mass gatherings and large public events. To date this is the leading guidance to which all local and state health authorities have been directed.

CDC stresses that it is critical to keep solid lines of communication in place at all levels; encourage all persons to practice good personal health habits; and to promote everyday preventive actions to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, which includes:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

To further enhance education and protection, Cal Expo is:

  • Adding additional handwashing stations.
  • Making alcohol hand sanitizers and tissues available at select locations.
  • Posting signage encouraging employees and patrons to wash their hands.
  • Enhancing the janitorial cleaning schedule for select facilities where appropriate.
  • Encouraging persons who feel unwell (i.e. fever, cough, respiratory problems) to stay home (employees and event patrons.)

As we navigate through the coming days and weeks, should you have questions, concerns, please feel free to submit your thoughts to us at or (916) 263-3000 and we will respond as soon as possible.