Ontario Racing – COVID-19 Protocols

In News by COSA

The Ontario Racing tracks are committed to keeping Ontario’s racing participants safe and healthy. In order to conduct live racing in the province without spectators and minimize any potential concerns with respect to the health and welfare of participants in the sport, the following minimum standards will apply to all persons who require access to the backstretch and/or paddock of any Ontario racetrack.

a. Access to the backstretch/paddock will be limited to essential personnel only who are licensed by the AGCO and meet all applicable track rules and regulations, specific to access to racing restricted areas.

b. All participants must wear face masks at all times when in the backstretch/paddock. Persons requesting access are required to bring their own face masks and wear same at all times. No person without a face mask will be permitted entry. Any person found on track premises without wearing a face mask will be ejected from the track.

c. All drivers, jockeys, and individuals performing warm up duties for horses into race will be provided change facilities that include the opportunity for adequate social distancing. If tracks cannot provide the space drivers, jockeys and warm up personnel will be required to change outside backstretch/paddock areas.

d. Each person entering the track premises will be subject to a screening process prior to be granted entry. As part of the screening process, all participants must answer the following questions:

1. Have you or someone you have come in contact with travelled or returned from any country outside of Canada?

2. Are you experiencing, or have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past
7 days:

a. Fever
b. Cough
c. Muscle Aches and Tiredness
d. Difficulty Breathing

3. Have you been in contact with anyone who is or has experienced any of the following
symptoms in the past 7 days:

a. Fever
b. Cough
c. Muscle Aches and Tiredness
d. Difficulty Breathing

4. Have you or someone you have come in contact with travelled or returned from any United States Racetrack or Racing Association in the past 21 days?

5. Are you aware that washing your hands multiple times per day and before eating and practicing proper social distancing guidelines are the most important ways to stop the spread of the Coronavirus? Please use our hand washing stations upon entering the cafeteria areas, dorms and at every opportunity through any of the washrooms located throughout the backstretch and maintain a safe distance from others at all times.

Any person who answers “yes” to any of questions 1 – 3, or who is displaying visible signs of illness consistent with COVID-19 exposure, will be denied access to the track.

e. Persons who answer “no” to all of questions 1 – 3 will be subject to a temperature check using a no-touch thermometer. Persons with a temperature of less than 100.5F will be permitted to enter; persons with a temperature of 100.5F or more will be denied access to the track.

f. Each track will ensure that handwashing and/or sanitization stations and/or equipment are available to all persons attending the track.

g. Each track will implement enhanced cleaning procedures.

h. Each track will ensure that physical distancing guidelines are in place. Personnel will be required to maintain a physical distance between them of not less than 2 metres. Only 1 person shall be permitted in the paddock per horse, and horses should be placed in every other stall in the paddock where possible/required. Horses/handlers should vacate the paddock within ½ hour of race completion.

i. Access to the retention area will be controlled and horsepeople will be required to comply with CPMA requirements.

j. In the event that a track becomes aware that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been in attendance at the track, the track will notify all employees and participants who may have been exposed. The track will ensure that the infected person does not re-enter the premises until (i) at least fourteen (14) days after the positive test, and (ii) the person is able to provide evidence of a negative test. The track will encourage any person who may have come into contact with the infected person to be tested for the virus and will follow any guidance provided by public health authorities.

k. Where a participant has travelled outside of Canada, he/she must provide proof of the date of their arrival in Canada, as well as either (i) self-isolate for not less than 14 days upon their return, or (ii) provide a copy (or other proof) of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival in Canada.

l. Each track will ensure that these requirements are communicated to its personnel and participants.

(With files from Ontario Racing)