BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) – More than 300 people who work or live at Golden Gate Fields have tested positive for COVID-19, making about half of all positive tests reported in the city of Berkeley in the past month.

Matthai Chakko, the spokesperson for the Berkeley Public Health Department, says more than 500 employees at the track are being tested twice a week, and some 60% have tested positive.  

“We need the number of people testing positive at Golden Gate Fields to be the same percent, that’s roughly being tested positive in the rest of the community,” said Chakko.

Only 71 employees who have not been infected have been cleared to work on the property to perform essential duties, which includes caring for the venue’s horses. 

“They live in these barns that are basically congregate living situations where people may be sharing bathrooms and kitchen facilities, and we know that in those types of environments it is very hard to contain the spread of the virus,” said Councilmember, Rashi Kesarwani. 

At least one track employee has died after being infected with the virus. Live racing has been suspended until Dec. 26.  

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