With Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home order expected to be extended until July, officials at Santa Anita said that they still remain optimistic about opening this Friday with strict protocols in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We remain optimistic about running on Friday,” said Mike Willman, the director of publicity at Santa Anita. Track officials said that that would be the only statement the track would offer Tuesday.
L.A. County’s Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that the order would “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months during a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that the timeline would only change if there were a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand.”
Beaches in L.A. County are set to re-open Wednesday, but users will be required to wear masks when not in the water. Sunbathing will not be allowed and only “active recreation” like swimming, jogging, and surfing will be allowed.
Monday, Santa Anita sent a text to horsemen telling them to be prepared to enter their horses Tuesday for a spectator-free race card Friday, the day the “Safer at Home” order was expected to expire. The county did not specifically grant its permission to Santa Anita to race. The track has been closed for racing since Mar. 27.
Later in the day, at around 5 p.m. Pacific time, Barger’s office released a statement that seemed to contradict what she had said during the meeting.
“During today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Dr. Barbara Ferrer indicated the Country’s health officer order would be in place over the next few months. Unfortunately, this statement was taken out of context and has understandably caused great concern by the public. Relaxing the restrictions in the `Safer at Home’ order is an important focus for the County, which will be done gradually over the next few months.”
Barger said that she was eager to “reopen more of L.A. County as soon as it’s safe to do so, in collaboration with our health experts, community leaders, businesses and residents, with best practices in place in order to ensure our overall health and well-being.”