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The 2020 Kentucky Derby and COVID 19: Message from Churchill Downs

During times of uncertainty, our traditions provide a great sense of comfort. We realize, that for many of you, the Kentucky Derby is a treasured annual tradition, and for others, a bucket-list experience. The time-honored traditions of the Kentucky Derby are as much about the fans as the race itself.

We recognize that the impact of this iconic event extends well beyond the historic racetrack of Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby is a cherished and important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We are mindfully aware of our fans who travel from great distances to join us as well as our valued employees whose most intense preparations to host a world-class event begin now.

For these reasons, we have been working carefully and diligently with relevant health experts and authorities to ensure we make the most responsible decision regarding the timing of the 146th Kentucky Derby this year. We thank you for your patience and are committed to providing regular communication and transparency as we move forward. This is not a decision we take lightly and we expect to have an update about the Kentucky Derby and additional information on our upcoming Spring Meet in the coming week. 

Our hearts are with those near and far who have been affected.

Thank you for being a part of the Churchill Downs family.

Churchill Downs Racetrack Updates

The safety and health of our guests, team members and participants remains our primary concern at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We are monitoring COVID-19 developments with steadfast vigilance in connection with resources provided by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control as well as public health officials and experts.

We encourage anyone planning to visit Churchill Downs Racetrack to follow the preventative actions outlined by the CDC and make informed decisions based on the official and most recent information provided. If you plan to attend a private event held at Churchill Downs, you should contact the organizer directly. All scheduled events will continue at the discretion of our clients. 

Simulcasting will be open to patrons as usual. 

To ensure the utmost safety of guests when they visit our property, we have instituted the following practices at Churchill Downs Racetrack:

Doubling all housekeeping staff at the track and on backside to increase frequency of cleaning disinfecting high-touch surfaces including gate turnstiles, doors, door knobs, handles, restrooms, tables, chairs, light, switches, elevator buttons security card readers, etc.

Educating all employees on CDC guidance, including proper handwashing techniques, and the avoidance of touching eyes, nose, and mouth

Requesting all vendors to thoroughly communicate hygiene protocol to their staff and employees.

Instructing all employees feeling unwell to refrain from coming to work.

Utilizing cleaning chemicals that meet the latest Environmental Protection Agency Emerging Viral Pathogen Policy and CDC requirements for registered disinfectants

Implementing the use of electrostatic spraying systems after hours to supplement routine surface cleaning

Increasing public hand-sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, containing gel that meets or exceeds the CDC standard for alcohol content

Enforcing a renewed focus on our ongoing maintenance efforts, including:

> Regular thorough cleaning of all restrooms on the track and backside, with pre-cleanings daily as well as routine cleanings during normal operation 

> Continuously wiping down all betting stations with 60% alcohol cleaning solution  

> Using disposable gloves during food preparation in all kitchens and sanitizing all food prep surfaces at the track and on the backside, including cutting boards, counter tops and cutting utensils while also washing hands before, during and after food preparation

>Routinely changing out air filters with a high grade minimum efficiency reporting value rating and cleaning HVAC equipment while monitoring CO2, humidity, and ventilation and using air economization and filtration to help dilute any airborne particulate matter

Waiving liquid restrictions to allow guests to bring their own hand sanitizer onsite. (All other liquids still prohibited.)

Nothing is more important at Churchill Downs Racetrack than the safety and health of our guests, team members, and participants. We will continue to be fully transparent with our plans going forward and will be sure to inform our fans, followers, and friends of any updates or changes to our regular operations as well as information regarding Kentucky Derby 146 and our upcoming Spring Meet. 




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