Coronavirus Fears Don't Stop Annual Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup


SWEETWATER, TX – Sweetwater's Famous Rattlesnake Round-Up will continue this weekend despite a number of events around the state have shut down. 

The following is a press release from the City of Sweetwater. 

Each year the Rattlesnake Round Up draws many people to our area. With concerns over the Coronavirus, we have had calls at the health department, questioning whether or not the event will or should go on. The Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization and caused cancellations to large events, such as the Houston Rodeo. It has been with much consideration and discussion that we have decided to go forward with the Round Up. In doing so, we realize that education and guidance must be presented to the public, in order to best protect our citizens during this pandemic.

A meeting was held this morning at the Sweetwater Nolan County Health Department concerning the Round Up. In attendance were the Sweetwater Nolan County Health Department, Nolan County Judge, Nolan County Commissioner, Nolan County Coliseum Manager, Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Sweetwater Jaycees, Sweetwater Mayor, Sweetwater City Manager, Sweetwater Police Chief, Sweetwater Fire Department and Nolan County Sheriff’s Office.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases in our area. We realize the magnitude of this event and the possible exposure it might bring. There is no vaccine for Coronavirus and no medication such as antivirals for the virus. Precaution and prevention are the things being recommended during this pandemic by the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of State Health Services. They are as follows:

1.If you are sick, stay home, unless you are seeking medical care.

2.If you have a weakened immune system, or underlying health conditions, that put you at greater risk of becoming ill, stay home. People 65 and older are also at greater risk of developing severe disease.

3.Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.

4.Disinfect hard surfaces and frequently touched surfaces, such as countertops, doorknobs and faucets. When you shop, wipe down the handle of your shopping cart with antibacterial wipes.

5.Practice social distancing by keeping six feet between you and other people, especially if they are sick.

6.Cover your cough with your elbow or a tissue and throw that tissue in the trash.

7.Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth.

We ask that you use caution and do what is best for you and your family. This year, handwashing stations will be spread throughout the Round Up and signs will be posted at those stations, the portable toilets, and throughout the annex about how to stop the spread of germs and how proper handwashing is the first line of defense. Extra staff will also be available to wipe down doorknobs, tables and handrails.

If you have questions or concerns, please call the Sweetwater Nolan County Health Department at 325-235-5463.

This is our statement from the Sweetwater Nolan County Health Department. No interviews will be given at this time.

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Them folks in Sweetwater ain't afraid of no snake, so they're not gonna be skeerd of no lil ole virus. Them Jaycees's are mighty tough.

Here's a prediction, with the influx of thousands of outsiders, many international, Sweetwater will become a hotbed for the virus shortly thereafter. Hope I'm wrong but we'll see......

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