Woodbine Addresses COVID-19 Cases

Published: April 19, 2021 01:03 pm EDT

Reports indicate that more than a dozen people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, 15 people working in the stabling area at Woodbine have tested positive for COVID-19. Director of Communications Jamie Dykstra told The Star that, through “timely and thorough contact tracing” by its COVID-19 health and safety committee, those cases were confirmed to stem from gatherings away from Woodbine property.

“Therefore we have no on-site transmission of the virus,” Dykstra said. “All of the individuals are isolating and doing well.”

Dykstra also confirmed that Woodbine has requested a pop-up vaccination clinic on the Woodbine property.

“As recently as a week ago, we were given assurances that this would occur, yet vaccine shortages have not permitted the clinic to proceed,” he said. “We are still working with senior government officials to make this happen.

“Overall, the situation is under control.”

Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson told Trot Insider on Monday that his organization has adopted its own sick-pay policy in light of the current wave.

"We have been proactive in every respect and have done a best-in-class job of managing very difficult circumstances," said Lawson. "We are encouraging WEG employees to stay home if COVID is suspected within their household, they have initiated COVID testing for themselves or a household member, or the employee is tagged as a ‘presumptive case’ and required to undertake a 14-day quarantine. Knowing they will remain on the active payroll will serve to help our team members and this situation. We are hoping other industry participants will follow our lead."