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Confirmed: How Victorian racing dodged another coronavirus scare


RUMOUR FILE: Confirmed.

Victorian horse racing has dodged another coronavirus scare, with two negative tests from participants that, if positive, could have shut down the industry.

The Racing Victoria staff members were officiating at the popular Warrnambool carnival earlier this week.

One of them reported a sore throat after day 1 and both were immediately stood down from day 2 of the carnival.

“Both staff members, who officiated together the day prior, immediately returned to Melbourne and underwent a test for COVID-19,” a Racing Victoria statement said in response to a Rumour File call about the matter.

“Both returned a negative result and have been cleared of having the virus.”

The results were a relief for the industry, given two coronavirus cases from travelling officials would have prompted pressure to shut the sport down.

The industry has introduced biosecurity protocols that go over and above government directives to ensure the sport, one of the state’s biggest industries, can continue.

All attendees at Victorian race meetings are submitted to temperature checks upon arrival.

“RV can also confirm that no one failed the temperature tests at this week’s Warrnambool meetings,” the Racing Victoria statement went on.

“The successful conduct of the revamped Warrnambool May Carnival, including the cautious approach taken when standing down the two RV staff members, serves as a demonstration of the protocols and processes that have ensured the safe continuation of racing in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and safety of industry staff, participants and the wider community is a fundamental priority for RV and we will continue to act with an abundance of caution when required.”

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