This communication is an important update from Woodbine Entertainment and the HBPA for all Racing participants on the Coronavirus: COVID-19.
It is of great importance to keep our all horse people safe and healthy so that the horses can continue be well cared for.
Woodbine and the HBPA are committed to taking reasonable precautions and steps required to protect the safety of our racing participants and are continuing to keep up-to date with information provided by the Toronto Public Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Toronto Public Health have confirmed risks to COVID-19 continues to remain low, however, there are isolated cases in the Toronto area. The biggest risk remains coming in direct contact with family of friends that have travelled to Coronavirus hot-zones around the globe.
Effective Tuesday, March 10, and until further notice, there will be a Coronavirus Check-point at the East Stable Gate Entrance.
Security will be asking 4 questions as a simple screening. Please allow for additional time when coming to work, as there may be a short wait time at the Security Entrance. Once cleared, racing participants will receive a sticker on their AGCO license for the week. Once cleared for the week, you will not be asked the check-point questions for another 7 days.
This small inconvenience is necessary to maintain the health of our racing participants and horse people who play critical roles in keeping our horses cared for.
In addition, to our Health and Safety measures that are currently in place, please see additional information below on best practices:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
· Stay home when you are ill and immediately inform your employer if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
— Dry Cough
— Muscle aches and tiredness
— Difficulty breathing
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
· If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We require all participants to notify their employer immediately, if they or someone they live with has recently travelled to/from a designated affected area, such as China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Singapore or Iran. It is strongly recommended at this time that you remain home, seek medical attention and/or self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
Please use the handwashing stations, restroom washing facilities and/or hand sanitizer inside and outside the following key common areas in the stable area:
1. Backstretch Kitchen ** key that everyone wash their hands before and after eating**
2. Dormitory common areas
3. Race Office
4. Stable Office
5. Jake Howard Centre
6. All barn tack rooms, break rooms
We thank you for your continued cooperation in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and stable area, and we will continue to update you as pertinent information becomes available.
Q. What countries have been impacted by the COVID-19 and what should employees do if they have travelled to the designated affected areas?
There has been an increase in cases of COVID-19 in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Singapore and Iran. The direction from Toronto Public Health for people who have travelled to Iran or the Hubei Province in China, is that they should self-isolate for a period of 14 days after your last day in the country. Returning travelers returning from the listed countries are asked to call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.
Additionally, if you have travelled to any of these affected areas, please monitor for symptoms for 14 days after leaving and report it to your employer immediately.
Q. If I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 and report it to your employer ASAP. If you are in the Woodbine Dormitory or on-site at Woodbine, notify Security immediately and we will help you seek medical attention.
Q. How many confirmed active cases of COVID-19 are in Toronto?
As of March 5, 2020, Toronto Public Health is monitoring nine positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). To date, there have been three other confirmed cases reported in Toronto. All three of these people have since recovered from their illness.
Q. What happens in the event that the COVID-19 situation escalates in our workplace, in the municipalities that we operate in and worldwide?
Woodbine and HBPA continue to monitor the situation closely and will follow direction and guidance from Toronto Public Health and relevant municipal/provincial authorities. Additionally, Woodbine has a working Task Force in place who are dedicated to developing and activating a preparedness and response plan according to the severity and impact level.