The Raceway COVID-19 Protocols

The Raceway at Western Fair District

COVID-19 Protocols

Updated September 27, 2021

Purpose: To outline protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the Racing Facilities and ensure the health and safety of our employees, horsepersons and stakeholders to allow for a safe return of Standardbred Racing at Western Fair District.

Affected Parties: WFR Management, Supervisors, Workers, Horse Owners, Trainers, Caretakers, Grooms, Drivers, and other Key Stakeholders (AGCO, Standardbred Canada, COSA).

Key Contact: Rob Lumsden, WFR Director of Racing

Mandatory Vaccination Policy:

Effective October 4, 2021, The Raceway at Western Fair District will enact a Mandatory Vaccination Policy for all staff, volunteers, racing participants and contractors.  All persons to which the policy applies will comply with one of the following on or before October 4, 2021:

1 – Provide proof of Full Vaccination against Covid-19

2 - Provide a written attestation of a medical reason(s) or Ontario Human Rights Code reason(s) for not being vaccinated against COVID-19

3 - Where a person has not received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or has received one dose and has not yet received their second dose, the person shall receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination series no later than October 4, 2021 and provide proof of Full Vaccination against COVID-19 no later than November 15, 2021.

Horsepersons can send their proof of vaccination or written attestations to the Director of Racing, Rob Lumsden, in advance of October 4 or present at the Backstretch Gate on October 4.

Backstretch and Paddock Access Restrictions: The following access restrictions shall be implemented for the Backstretch and Paddock areas:

Access gate behind Gateway Facility (Turn 1) shall be locked until first post time.

Only one Paddock entry gate shall be open, ensuring one point of access to the Paddock area

Only trucks/trailers, AGCO judges and staff are permitted to park in the backstretch area.  All other personal vehicles will park outside of the gated area, and occupants will be subject to screening prior to being granted access to the Paddock area.

No Owners or Guests shall be allowed access to the Paddock area. 

No person shall be granted access without presenting a valid AGCO license.

Access to the driver’s room shall be limited to ensure social distancing.  Masks are mandatory in this area. No access to the shower facilities at this time.

All persons requesting access to the Paddock and Backstretch areas will be subject to the two-step Security and Medical screening protocols outlined below.  No person shall be admitted into the area without passing both portions of the screening protocols. 

Security and Medical Screening Procedure: The following procedure shall be used to ensure the proper screening of all persons that wish to access the Paddock and Backstretch areas:

Screening QR code

QR Code available at the bottom of this page.

This code can be utilized daily in the following fashion:

1 – Scan the QR code at the entry gate upon arrival, selecting “Raceway Paddock and Backstretch” from the drop down menu and work through the screening questions.  Upon completion, show the green check mark to Backstretch Security and you are good to go

2 – Scan the QR code from this message, or from our website, anytime on race day and follow the same procedure as above.  Once you have received the green check mark, take a screen shot indicating you have been approved and present the screen shot to our Backstretch team upon arrival.

Visitors passing the security screening will have their temperature checked by our Medical service providers utilizing a no-touch thermometer.  If the result is a temperature of less than 38 degrees C (110.5F) they will be cleared for access to the Paddock and Backstretch areas. They shall be asked to show their AGCO license.  This screening shall occur on a daily basis.

Internal Paddock Protocols:  The following measures will be in place inside the Paddock Facility:

Limited seating will be available in the backstretch concession area.  All patrons must be seated while consuming food or beverage, including providing their name and contact number to our concession staff for the purposes of contact tracing.

Access to the Race Office shall remain open on a limited basis.

Access to the testing barn will follow the CPMA protocols, including Security at entrance, maximum of 2 people per horse, no horses will be left unattended.  Handwashing sink and hand sanitizer is immediately accessible in this area.

Race stalls shall be spread out in a manner that alleviates congestion in any particular area and enhances physical distancing.  Urine stalls shall be moved to several areas of the Paddock to alleviate congestion.

Security and raceway staff will patrol the paddock, ensuring masks are worn properly at all times and physical distancing is practiced.

Physical distancing protocols shall be in place according to current Municipal, Provincial and Federal Guidelines, and masks must be worn at all times within the Paddock.

It is recommended that persons use cell phones to communicate when feasible to respect Physical Distancing Guidelines.

All internal AGCO and race office areas will be sanitized between race cards, and high touch areas will be sanitized throughout the evening.

Horsepersons shall vacate the Paddock area immediately following their race.

All high touch areas shall be sanitized on a frequent basis through the race night.  Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the Paddock.

Race stalls shall be fully cleaned and sanitized nightly after each race night.

Simulcast, Grandstand, Top of the Fair and Judge’s areas

Simulcast lounge will be open with reduced capacities in accordance with current regulations.  Seating and individual carols will be adjusted to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres.  Proof of full vaccination is required upon entry and will be presented to the guard at the Grandstand Facility entrance.

The main outdoor grandstand seating is open to Simulcast customers who have shown proof of full vaccination, with capacities limited under current regulations.

Access to Patio shall be outdoors only from the North end of the patio.  There will be no access from the Patio from the indoor areas.  Tellers and washrooms will be available to patio customers in the East annex only, for a maximum of 15 minutes to place a bet, collect winnings or use a washroom.  There is no requirement to show proof of vaccination for the outdoor patio area

Top of the Fair restaurant may open with seating arranged to ensure physical distancing at all times.  Number of patrons will follow Federal, Provincial and Municipal guidelines.  Patrons will be subject to screening upon entry, and masks will be mandatory when not consuming food or beverage.

AGCO judge’s area will be adjusted to ensure physical distancing, with appropriate shields in place in between the judges.  Masks will be mandatory in this area.  No tours of the Judges’ area will be permitted this season.

Authored by: Rob Lumsden, WFR Director of Racing and Grandstand Operations

Effective date: September 27, 2021

Review date: When there are changes to the Municipal, Provincial or Federal guidelines on COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols.