State Fair Interim Director Sean Hennessey (far right) said Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 he tested positive for Covid-19. He said he is at home resting. Hennessey has been mingling with many in recent days. On Aug. 24, 2022, he took a tour of the fair with Gov. Kathleen Hochul. In this photo, Hochul reaches for a hug from Van Robinson and wife, Linda Brown-Robinson. Dennis Nett | dnett@syracuse.com
Geddes, N.Y. — The state’s fair’s interim director announced Saturday he has tested positive for Covid-19.
Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey said he started feeling congested Saturday morning and took a Covid test, which came back positive.
“Because I am fully vaccinated and boosted, my symptoms are minor and I am resting at home,” he said in a statement.
Hennessey said he is notifying anyone who had “prolonged close contact” with him over the last 48 hours, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state Department of Health.
Hennessey’s positive Covid test comes on the 11th day of the state fair. The fair ends Monday, on Labor Day.
“I am sorry to have to miss the end of my first fair, but the staff of the fair and of Agriculture and Markets know how to bring this festival home,” he said. “We’re in capable hands.”
First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Steve McGrattan, will take over Hennessey’s duties in his absence, as he did for several weeks prior to Hennessey’s appointment.
Hennessey, a veteran state government manager, became interim fair director in May after former director Troy Waffner was reassigned.
Fair officials are asking anyone who had contact with Hennessey in recent days to take a Covid test and monitor for symptoms.
“We know that Sean has met and mingled with many fairgoers — and members of the media — in the last few days,” the statement said. “If anyone believes they’ve had close contact with him, we encourage you to take a test and monitor for symptoms as well.”
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