New Bern Bike Event Impacted by the Delta Variant of Covid-19

As COVID-19 restrictions began to ease up this spring, travel destinations across the country are expected to get a surge of summer tourism. Tourism and travel are expected to slowly rise up in most parts of the country especially within a post-pandemic resurgence.

Americans are projected to spend at least an estimated $153.7 billion for travel in the year 2021, the highest amount projected to date.

New Bern in North Carolina is already experiencing this kind of projection as they are expected to host the Bike Event in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

However, with the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant, the Craven County Tourism Development Authority plans to remain vigilant in adapting to any new COVID-19 regulations that come about and adjust events accordingly.

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It has been recently observed that outdoor events lead to superspreader events, especially with the newly discovered delta variant.

“We are going to be flexible and we are going to be fluid if something changes. We are going to continue to monitor the situation and be ready to react and act when asked,” said Melissa Riggle, executive director of Craven County’s tourism development authority.

In two weeks, Bike MS Historic New Bern will host the historic New Bern bike ride with 1,000 bikers flocking to New Bern’s streets and downtown amenities for the first time in two years.

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“Obviously we know that the delta variant of COVID-19 is highly transmissible. But, for that reason, we are requiring masks at any social event or gathering, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be required at all times during our event weekend, aside from while you’re riding, eating, or drinking,” said Sammie Ammons, senior manager for Bike MS.

According to Ammons, they have limited seating, and social distancing is observed in areas that are highly congested. Additionally, cyclists will be spaced out in waves and spaced 10 feet apart or more.

“I think the importance is just that together, the supporters of New Bern and all of the Bike MS cyclists and volunteers as a movement we kind of reshaped life for people living with MS,” Ammons said.

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Steven Hardy-Braz, a school psychologist and a volunteer for the Bike MA, has installed over 150 East Coast Greenway signage in Craven County. He plans to install 200 more.

The event has already raised over $600,000. The summer tourism season came out strong but it is not without obstacles as hospitality partners need to adjust and find new methods of operations because of COVID-19. Stay tuned with us to get more news and updates. 

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