The Raceway COVID-19 Protocols

Jan 25, 2022 COVID-19 Protocols (PDF)


The Raceway at Western Fair District 

COVID-19 Protocols 

Updated January 25, 2022 


Purpose: To outline protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the Grandstand and Racing Facilities and ensure the health and safety of our employees, horsepersons and stakeholders to allow for continued use according to current Federal, Provincial and Municipal regulations 


Affected Parties: WFA 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 all Paddock areas, covering the nose and mouth area.   
  • 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 (see below)




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. 



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



The Backstretch concession area shall be closed until further notice 

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 


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.   

Capacity in Simulcast lounge shall be reduced to 100 persons, 200 persons if East Annex is open. 

The Homestretch concession will remain closed until further notice. 

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

There is no requirement to show proof of vaccination for the outdoor patio area.  Unvaccinated patrons can access facilities to place a bet, collect winnings or to use a washroom, but shall be asked to leave after a maximum of 15 minutes. 

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.  


Top of the Fair Restaurant 


Top of the Fair Restaurant shall remain open with a maximum capacity of 150 persons.  No Mutuel Tellers are permitted at this time. 

Patrons shall show proof of full vaccination at the main grandstand entrance upon entry 

Patrons shall be manually screened with names recorded at the Top of the Fair entry desk. 

Patrons shall be masked unless consuming food and beverage. 

Servers shall be masked at all times and wear eye protection when unable to maintain a distance of 2M from patrons  


Carousel Room 


The Carousel Room will be reduced to 50 percent capacity (250 persons) effective immediately.   

Patrons in this area will be checked for proof of full vaccination at grandstand entrance, and must present proof of screening via Cantrace at Carousel Entrance upon entry. 

Patrons will remain seated and wear a mask when not consuming food and beverage or travelling away from their table. 

Contact tracing shall be required, and collected via the Cantrace app. 

Serving staff shall be masked and wear eye protection when unable to maintain a distance of 2M from patrons 




Yuk Yuks Comedy Club 


Patrons shall show proof of full vaccination at the Grandstand entrance 

Patrons shall be manually screened with names recorded at the Yuk Yuks entrance doors. 

Capacity shall be reduced to 50 persons until further notice 

Tables shall be spread out to ensure 2M of distance is maintained in between all tables 

Patrons shall wear a mask when not consuming food and beverage, and must remain seated unless accessing a washroom, paying or leaving.  

Serving staff shall be masked and will wear eye protection when unable to maintain a distance of 2M from patrons. 


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


Effective date: December 20, 2021 


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