Golden Gate Fields racetrack has announced plans to resume racing next week following a widespread coronavirus outbreak in late 2020 that led to hundreds of COVID-19 cases and at least one death.
Track officials from 1/st Racing and The Stronach Group announced Friday that live racing will start again next Friday, Jan. 15.
“After extensive testing in collaboration with the Berkeley Public Health Division, it has been determined that the COVID-19 concerns on the campus have decreased to levels to allow the resumption of live racing,” the track said in a prepared statement. “Golden Gate Fields is indebted to both the Berkeley Public Health Division and the Alameda County Public Health Department for their assistance and advice during the period of temporary closure.”
The track, which is located on the Berkeley-Albany border, suspended racing in November as the extent of the outbreak became known. Hundreds of COVID-19 infections tore through the barn area where workers who care for the horses lives. Trainers, veterinarians and other people who were live off-site but work with the horses also got sick.
As of this week, the track remains closed for in-person business and access to the track continues to be limited to those whose jobs deal directly with the daily care of the horses. Horse owners who are not also trainers have not been allowed to visit their animals or watch their workouts live for months in the interest of community safety.
“As part of the continued COVID-19 safety protocols in place at Golden Gate Fields, we are unable to allow owners to attend training or live racing as we begin this meet,” track officials announced Friday. “We will continue to monitor this situation and will update the Thoroughbred Owners of California of any changes to this policy.”
The track said it will post updates at www.goldengatefields.com and on Twitter at @GGFRacing.
Read complete coverage on Berkeleyside about the recent Golden Gate Fields outbreak.