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GREEN BAY – Wisconsin Public Service officials announced that they are cancelling the annual WPS Farm Show due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

The 3-day event set for March 31-April 2 has served as the first farm show of the season since 1961. The large event is held on the EAA Grounds in Oshkosh and provides a platforms for exhibitors and farm vendors across the state and beyond to show the public the latest and greatest in farm technology, equipment and supplies.

Matt Cullen of WPS said in the new release issued late Thursday afternoon that the decision to cancel the signature event was made in order to protect the health and safety of attendees, and follows recommendations issued Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Speaking at the State Emergency Operations Center in Madison, Evers declared a public health emergency this week following the lead of other officials scrambling to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in Wisconsin.

the state Capitol closed to formal tours and the state high school athletics association moved to drastically limit attendance at remaining winter tournaments Thursday as officials scrambled to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in Wisconsin.

Evers' declaration frees up resources and allows the Department of Health Services to buy, store and distribute medications regardless of health coverage. It also releases state funds to support local health departments with costs stemming from isolations and quarantines, authorizes the use of the Wisconsin National Guard and prohibits price gouging, according to an Associated Press story.

DHS Secretary Andrea Palm said during a news conference that the agency is recommending the cancellation of all events with more than 250 people.

Cullen said that WPS has begun communicating with exhibitors and vendors about the show’s cancellation. Approximately 20,000 people and nearly 500 exhibitors were scheduled to attend this year’s event in Oshkosh.

The WPS Farm Show is just one of many events to be disrupted as government, schools and private businesses try to minimize the spread of the virus which has traveled across the globe in a short time.

For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the disease. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe cases can take three to six weeks to recover.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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