TORONTO – In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and in the interest of the safety of customers, employees, horsepeople and the larger community, Woodbine Entertainment announced today that it will be closing Woodbine Mohawk Park and Woodbine Racetrack to the general public for a minimum of two weeks.
Preparations to close both facilities to the general public are well underway and will be closed starting tomorrow, Sunday, March 15. Woodbine Entertainment will continue to monitor the situation closely and stay in contact with public health officials to determine when it is safe to fully reopen its operations and facilities to the public.
“We strongly believe that closing our racetracks to the public is the right thing to do for the well being of our employees, customers and horsepeople,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “We also recognize that we all have a role to play in slowing down the spread of this virus to protect the larger community. We will continue to work closely with public health officials and make decisions that are consistent with health and safety being our highest priority.”
The decision to close these facilities follows the recommendation of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams for the suspension of all large events and public gatherings due to Covid-19.
Woodbine Entertainment’s live harness racing at Mohawk Park will continue as scheduled but without spectators and only essential staff, licensed horsepeople and regulators permitted in the facility. As an additional precaution, Woodbine Entertainment is screening all horsepeople entering the paddock, which will also have highly restricted access for licensed personnel only.
Plans to open the Thoroughbred season remain scheduled for Saturday, April 18 but are subject to an ongoing assessment of the situation. Currently, the training facilities at Woodbine Racetrack will remain open with screening for all horsepeople entering the backstretch and restricted access to licensed personnel only.
Woodbine Entertainment does not operate the casinos in either of its properties. Currently, Elements Casino at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Casino Woodbine at Woodbine Racetrack remain open and any updates will be provided directly from the operators of the casinos.