COVID-19 and the Autumn Festival: Wednesday, March 18 2020

We are writing to provide another update on COVID-19’s impact on this weekend’s Autumn Festival.

The meeting is planned to go ahead without spectator involvement. Our decision is consistent with government announcements made today (Wednesday, the 18th of March).

Medical and hygiene information will be made available to attendees upon arrival and additional steps have been taken at the circuit to promote good hygiene.

If you have returned home from overseas recently or are unwell in any way, please stay home. Please practice all of the social distancing and good hygiene techniques that we all need to be implementing into daily life. This includes refraining from traditional greetings such as handshakes or hugs, avoiding touching your face and frequently and thoroughly washing your hands.

The latest information on the progress of COVID-19 is well within the expectations we had a week ago when we decided to proceed with the race meeting this weekend. Additionally, government actions have been consistent with the evidence we used to make the decision.

We recognise of course the age profile of members and entrants that make them a higher risk group. Having the opportunity of a meeting at this stage is a benefit to us; we are unlikely to hold another race meeting until the scheduled late August meeting and even that may be in doubt. The Public Health Order limiting gatherings in NSW to 500 will not be repealed until 14 June.

The probabilities of contagion are still low, but we know they will increase rapidly. We are aware that far higher incidence of infection is yet to occur and the peak may not be reached until mid-year so that society is in for a long haul, probably with tightening controls over the next few months. Flattening the curve is the term used and that is the key to understanding the logic of the government strategy.

A general meeting and get-together for club members is scheduled for Tuesday 31 March and given the numbers expected at these meetings it is planned to go ahead. Given the above, we are unable to say at this stage whether the social meeting in late April will go ahead.

We also believe we understand well the government strategy and its relationship to medical advice and have confidence in its wisdom.

Finally, all event documentation is now available for download from the club website, including the further supplementary regulations released earlier this week. Head to the ‘Autumn Festival’ page of the site to download them.

We look forward to a safe, happy and healthy meeting, and appreciate your support and understanding in these challenging times.

Richard Cardew,
HSRCA President

Leave a Comment