Racing Victoria (RV) has been advised that the 88 COVID-19 tests taken from licensed and registered participants at Cranbourne Turf Club yesterday have all returned as negative.
As a result of this, the lockdown on the seven Cranbourne stables has been lifted and they are permitted to resume normal activities provided that any staff identified as close contacts and ordered to isolate by DHHS do not resume duties. The stables are Richard Laming, Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, Wendy Kelly, Nathan Dunn, Michael Trotter, Adrian McGregor and Tom Nikolic.
Dunn and Trotter have been cleared to start their horses at Ballarat and Moe respectively today. The Kelly and the Busuttin and Young stables withdrew their horses from Moe prior to this morning’s scratching deadline.
Licensed jockeys Alexandra Bryan, Michael Walker and Jason Benbow have all been cleared to resume riding, with Bryan and Walker to fulfill their engagements at Moe today.
In accordance with Government directives, the staff member from the Laming stable that tested positive to COVID-19 on Friday remains in quarantine for a minimum mandatory 14 days and will not be permitted to resume duties thereafter until cleared to do so by DHHS, the Stewards and RV’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO). That staff member had not worked at the stable since last Sunday, 16 August.
In addition, eight stable staff identified as close contacts, all of whom tested negative yesterday, are required by the DHHS to isolate and complete 14 days quarantine and undergo a second COVID-19 test. These stable staff are not permitted to resume their duties until such time as they are cleared by DHHS, the Stewards and CMO.
Following the completion of deep cleaning of stables and tie-up stalls yesterday and today, the Cranbourne Training Centre will reopen for training tomorrow morning.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “It’s both pleasing and comforting to know that all the tests taken yesterday have been returned as negative. This underlines the importance and benefit of the strict biosecurity protocols that we have had in place since mid-March to allow for the safe conduct of over 1800 races here in Victoria.
“I want to thank all of the impacted stables and their staff for their swift actions since Friday night and their willingness to make important sacrifices for the benefit of the industry during that period.
“I also want to extend the best wishes of all within the industry to the stablehand that has tested positive to the virus. Our welfare staff are engaged with the individual and will continue to support them throughout the coming weeks.
“This incident should serve as a timely reminder to all within our industry of the critical importance of following both Government directives and our industry biosecurity protocols to ensure the safe continuation of training and racing in Victoria.
“I once again implore everyone in our industry to continue doing the right thing. If you or someone in your household is feeling unwell, don’t go to work. Make sure you reach out and tell your boss and Racing Victoria and get yourself tested at the earliest opportunity. Anyone who fails to do so immediately is putting the entire industry at risk and will face significant penalties.”