Rodeo

Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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