CORONAVIRUS KILLS HOUSTON RODEO

As coronavirus panic spreads in Texas, Houston officials have called off the remainder of the city’s biggest annual event, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The announcement came Wednesday amid a seven-day emergency health declaration in the state’s biggest city, which comes after the state saw its first suspected case of community spread of the virus in nearby Montgomery County. It’s another devastating economic and cultural blow to another major Texas city as the state — which has more than 30 confirmed cases — continues to suffer the impacts of the novel coronavirus. On Friday, Austin canceled South by Southwest, the annual international festival of music, technology and film that brings hundreds of thousands of people from across the world to the state capital every March.

Now all eyes are on San Antonio, whose annual Fiesta celebration — a more than weeklong citywide spree — is still on for now, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Wednesday.

“For those of us who are Texans through and through, and from our area, from our region, you know just how much we love the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. You know this decision has not come easily,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Wednesday. “But the health and safety of the people in our region is paramount.”

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