Jason Settlemoir said the closure occurred due to an abundance of caution after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Friday’s card will go ahead without fans, with the hopes of reopening the track to spectators on Saturday morning.
by Debbie Little
Due to an abundance of caution for their employees and customers, the Meadowlands closed on Tuesday evening (Sept. 29) at 6 p.m. after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Apparently, the employee attended a wedding and came to work not feeling well and subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.
“If people feel sick, they should stay home,” said Jason Settlemoir, the chief operating officer and general manager at The Meadowlands.
Settlemoir and his staff have been working non-stop to make sure their facility is a safe environment for all who set foot in it.
The building will get a deep sanitization and they are ordering additional air filtration units going above and beyond what is legally mandated.
“In addition to that, during this brief shutdown, we are requiring all of our employees to be tested by Oct. 2,” said Settlemoir.
All employees were tested prior to the start of the fall meeting on Sept. 5 as well as before the track’s reopening on June 5 after the six-week pandemic shutdown.
Settlemoir said this will be his fifth test since March.
“I have a responsibility to my family and to my employees and customers to make sure I’m not carrying it,” he said.
The plan is to race on Friday (Oct. 2) with just the essential staff that is required to have live racing without spectators, which does include the live in-house simulcast show, “Racing from The Meadowlands.”
Their hope is to welcome fans back on Saturday morning, Oct. 3, but Settlemoir said that decision will not be made until they can guarantee everyone’s safety.
According to a Big M press release, re-opening details will be posted at PlayMeadowlands.com. Horsepeople are reminded to have the COVID questionnaire completed when arriving at the stable gate for their temperature check and face coverings are required at all times while in the paddock.