Geddes, N.Y. — The New York State Fair is requiring all unvaccinated workers to be tested for Covid-19 before opening day.

The mandate applies to vendors and their employees along with employees of the fair itself, fair spokesman Dave Bullard said in an email.

The fair will host a testing center specifically for workers with the help of the state Health Department and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

Free rapid tests and vaccinations will also be available to fairgoers from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the fair at the Art and Home Center.

The fair kicks off Friday after a year off due to the Covid pandemic. The event is set to run for 18 days for the first time.

The start of the fair comes as new cases of Covid continue to surge across New York. Cases have increased more than elevenfold since the start of July and hospitalizations are up more than fourfold.

In Onondaga County, new cases have jumped from the single digits to dozens a day. Hospitalizations have increased from a dozen to around 30.

Officials have said the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is to blame for the spike.

Despite the increases, fair officials are planning for 100% capacity indoors and outdoors.

Masks are required for everyone inside buildings, but only for unvaccinated people outside. Proof of vaccination is not required.

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