Negative Covid-19 test to be a condition of entry for Keeneland September
Kentucky auction house announces stringent measure for marquee sale
Keeneland president-elect Shannon Arvin has informed patrons and horsemen that anyone entering the grounds for the company's September Yearling Sale will be required to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
"We will be communicating final plans very soon and are working in concert with health and government officials as well as Fasig-Tipton to deliver consistent and reliable protocols and testing," the sales house stated.
"Keeneland's continued commitment to safety and our compliance with the governor's Healthy at Work standards allow us the opportunity to operate our auctions and race meets."
Further requirements state that the negative test must be performed within five days of arriving at the sale, which starts September 13 and runs until September 26.
For any sales participant who does not have access to testing ahead of the auction, Keeneland has made arrangements for on-site testing to be available.
"As we have all experienced, information available with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic changes frequently, and we may need to update and amend our protocols accordingly," continued the statement.
Requiring sale attendees to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test is the most stringent protocol yet to be applied to any live thoroughbred auction this year.
Though several sales have been cancelled due to the pressures of the pandemic, those sales that have gone forward - namely juvenile auctions at the Ocala Breeders' Sales facility in Ocala and Fasig-Tipton grounds in both Timonium and in Lexington - have not required any diagnostic proof of testing.
During the OBS sales, patrons were asked to wear masks within any public space and inside the pavilion. Hand-sanitising stations were installed throughout the facility, and extra staff were hired to monitor points of ingress and egress as well as to routinely disinfect any public surfaces.
The protocol was much the same at Fasig-Tipton properties with the addition of sign-in charts for each sale attendee and daily non-contact temperature checks. Participants were given colour-coded bracelets each day to alert staff that they had been tested. Masks were also required to be worn in any public indoor space.
In order to assist those unwilling or unable to attend the Keeneland sales, the auction house will offer expanded onsite bidding options at locations farther from the arena and the back ring to allow for greater social distancing.
Online bidding and phone bidding will also be available.
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