Fairgrounds temporarily closed to events after E. coli outbreak

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CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. —

The Cleveland County fairgrounds are temporarily shut down after dozens of people have been affected by an E. coli outbreak connected to the fair.

The director of the Cleveland County Fair sent a release saying operators are “making the responsible decision to temporarily close all public events at the fairgrounds.”

More than 100 people reported symptoms of E. coli infections after visiting the Cleveland County Fair. One of them, 2-year-old Gage Lefevers, died.

On Monday morning, Eyewitness News talked with the director of Hog Happening, a benefit barbecue that brings up to 10,000 people to the fairgrounds. It’s slated to start next week.

He said they had already decided to relocate and spent most of the morning looking for a new host site.

“We are just concerned about all of those folks being over there with no definitive answer as to what caused this,” said competition director Jerry Gardener. “So we just felt like that in the public interest we needed to move our event.”