More than 200 people at an East Bay racetrack have tested positive for the coronavirus as the number of cases statewide surges to its highest levels since the start of the pandemic, health officials say, calling it a “significant outbreak.”
At the racetrack in Berkeley, officials said they have temporarily stopped transporting horses and staff from Golden Gate Fields to try to try to limit further spread of the virus. The track temporarily suspended live racing operations on Nov. 13 after 24 cases were reported.
Aidan Butler, chief strategy officer of track owner The Stronach Group, told the California Horse Racing Board that 95% of the people who tested positive are asymptomatic, the San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday.
“Unfortunately, that is the reason, I believe, this got out of control because no one was too sick for the most part,” he said.
Even before the Thanksgiving holiday that has many health officials concerned about increased gatherings, the California Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 15,000 cases in the state Saturday, by far the highest level since the pandemic began in March. Another 14,000 cases were recorded Sunday.
California’s average daily number of coronavirus cases has tripled in the last month, the Los Angeles Times found in an analysis, while COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled in the same time period.
A curfew that affects most of the state took effect Saturday requiring people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they are responding to an emergency, shopping for groceries, picking up takeout or walking their dogs. The monthlong curfew could be extended if rapidly worsening trends don’t improve.
— Associated Press, Marco Siler-Gonzales (@mijo_marco)