Coronavirus and the Aiken Trials

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AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — An Aiken tradition is returning to the area this weekend. But how will the recent coronavirus outbreak impact the Aiken Trials?

“It’s kind of a traditional kick off the spring,” Board Chairman of the Aiken Track told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked about the Aiken Trials.

It’s the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Aiken Trials, now in it’s 78th running. Several thousand people will descend on this part of Aiken on Saturday, March 14. “We are so blessed to have the community to come out and support us for so many years. And we’re looking forward to their support this year too,” Ingram added.

Planning is a year in the making but one thing officials at the Aiken Track could not prepare for last year — the coronavirus. “We are taking our direction from the mayor’s office and government officials,” Ingram shared.

Following announcements of several major industry gatherings being canceled and others postponed after many scheduled attendees dropped out due to the coronavirus, his team has been watching and waiting. “But they have not told us to in any way cancel the event,” he added.

But they want residents to be prepared. By Saturday, patrons will see more options for washing and sanitizing hands over at the track. “We will have more handwashing stations done than normal,” he said.

Officials are asking folks to follow recommended protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes to slow its spread. “We are looking for people to use good judgment. If they feel like they’re in a high-risk group or are they’re sick, use good judgment,” he added.

You may see one less option at this track thanks to this year’s virus. “A little less hand-shaking than normal, but we all understand that. We’re looking forward to a robust turnout on Saturday. If anything changes, we’ll let the public know via our website and social media,” he said.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate, purchased at the track office, and online at https://aikentrainingtrack.com/.

Meanwhile, Shawn did reach out to Bruce’s Field as well as the Powderhouse Polo Track to find out their plans for the coronavirus. He’s waiting to hear back.

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