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Rodeo Austin gearing up amid coronavirus threat

Rodeo Austin's CEO said they are adding more hand-washing stations this year.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, dozens of workers scrubbed Rodeo Austin's carnival rides to prepare for Friday's BBQ Austin. The CEO, Rob Golding, said the public's safety and health are always a priority, but with coronavirus concerns this year they are going the extra mile.

"This year we are going to be adding additional hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations," said Golding. "We are adding a significant amount of signage."

He also said they have cleaners who are cleaning during the day, as well as at night.

Golden said last year 300,00o people attended the events, giving the nonprofit ample money for the kids of Texas.

"Annually we give away about $2.5 million to the kids of the state of Texas," said Golding.

He said they will not cancel Austin Rodeo unless mandated by health officials. 

"If we are forced to shut down for coronavirus or any unforeseen circumstances, this is the bulk of our fundraising for the year, and that $2.5 million is in jeopardy of going away," Golding said. "I hope people come out and do it safely and take care of themselves, but we are here for the right reasons and it would be a shame to see that canceled."

The CEO said right now their pre-sales and ticket sales are on par to years past. As of now, the rodeo is scheduled to open March 14 and run until March 28.

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