Virus knocks off fest, delays popular car auction The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Virus knocks off fest, delays popular car auction

December 15th, 2020 Mesa Tribune Staff
Virus knocks off fest, delays popular car auction
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TRIBUNE NEWS STAFF

A signature Valley event has been delayed by the pandemic and another canceled outright.

Barrett-Jackson announced last week it is rescheduling the January 2021 Scottsdale Auction to the week of March 22 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, with exact dates to be announced later.

“The difficult decision to postpone the auction was made out of an abundance of caution to safeguard auction customers, sponsors, guests and employees from the current spike of coronavirus cases – the worst since the pandemic began – as well as the spike in the number of cases following the upcoming holidays that health authorities are predicting,” the company said in its announcement.

“While every indication showed that our bidders, consignors and sponsors were behind our efforts to hold our auction next month, we decided it would be prudent at this time to safeguard everyone’s health,” said Craig Jackson chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

Earlier last week, another annual Valley event was canceled outright for the year when the Renaissance Festival organizers said they would return in 2022.

That six-week festival draws thousands from across Arizona to a 30-acre site in Gold Canyon.

“We are saddened this decision may result in further hardship for our valued renaissance community of artists and disappoint our patrons,” Renaissance Fest organizers said in a statement.

Three counties – Yavapai, Apache and Navajo – last week were declared by the state Department of Health Services to have entered the category of substantial COVID-19 spread and experts say it is likely more counties in Arizona will fall into that category this week.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s press aide, C.J. Karamargin, does not dispute the sharp hike in COVID infections. Dr. Cara Christ, the state’s health chief, said Thursday that the rate of infection in the entire state for the past week has reached 500 per 100,000.

That exceeds the benchmark for substantial transmission, which is far above the 100 per 100,000 people, she said.

But Karamagin said that the evidence shows the spike is coming not from businesses that the state can control but instead from things the state cannot, like family gatherings.

A separate state-by-state analysis looks at what researchers call the “R-naught” number, essentially an indicator of how fast the virus is growing. Anything above 1.0 shows spread.

On Thursday, Arizona hit 1.22, the highest in the nation and highest for Arizona since May.

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