HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the wake of growing coronavirus concerns in the Houston-area, a petition to have Houston's Livestock Show and Rodeo cancelled has popped up online.
There are currently eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Houston-area, and concerned citizens worry the rodeo could contribute to more cases.
A change.org petition titled "Petition to Cancel the Houston Rodeo Amid Coronavirus Outbreak" has already gained over 400 signatures.
The creator of the petition says, "Due to this clear and present danger to public health in Houston, I believe it is essential we cancel the remainder of the Houston Rodeo."
Rodeo season kicked off Tuesday, March 3 and will last through Sunday, March 22.
The petition comes one day after the annual Austin event "South by Southwest" was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said on Twitter that the rodeo isn't the same because unlike Austin's SXSW, RodeoHouston is a mostly local event.
For the past 35 years, the Who's Who in the energy community have gathered in Houston at the annual CERAWeek conference.
Due to the international audience the conference gathers, it was abrubtly canceled last week because of what the organization calls the rapidly mounting concern over the COVID-19 coronavirus.
RodeoHouston sent ABC13 the following statement:"According to the Houston Health Department, while people need to remain vigilant, there is currently no need for the average person to take out-of-the-ordinary protective actions. However, in consideration of our guests and the community, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and NRG Park are actively taking measures to help ensure the health and safety of our guests, including:
- Nearly doubled the amount of hand sanitizer stations available
- Increased backstock of hand sanitizer
- Increased frequency of sanitizing common touchpoints including handrails, doorknobs, faucets, food service counters, etc.
- Added signage at restrooms encouraging visitors to properly wash their hands
- Increased the frequency of cleaning and restocking the restrooms with hand soap and paper towels
- Increased the number of cleaning staff on site
- Directed staff and volunteers showing any symptoms of illness to stay home
In addition to these measures, the Rodeo also provides handwashing stations in AGVENTURE, near the petting zoo and pony rides, as well as outdoors near Fun on the Farm and Mutton Bustin.' Guests are encouraged to wash their hands before eating or drinking, and after touching animals or anything in surrounding environments.
The Rodeo is working daily with the Houston Health Department to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests. We have developed a webpage that contains health tips on visiting the Rodeo, along with links to both the Houston Health Department's Emergency Operations Center, Harris County's readyharris.org and the Center for Disease Control websites on Coronavirus."
The video above is from previous reporting.