TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s premier thoroughbred racetrack was scrambling Friday to follow capacity limits set by the state as it prepares for its opening night of racing, officials said.
Monmouth Park is scheduled to present a six-race card Friday evening. In a statement released Friday afternoon, track officials said no more than 500 people would be allowed in certain areas, but added that information on a final capacity number would be released later in the day.
The Asbury Park Press reported the track had submitted a plan to the state to allow roughly 16,000 people in the track's outdoor areas but the plan was not approved. The track has hosted as many as 60,000 people for the Haskell Stakes, its signature event.
Monmouth Park's sports book will open but be restricted to 25% of normal capacity. All visitors to the track or sports book will be required to wear a mask and will be given a brief health questionnaire.
Atlantic City's casinos were allowed to open Thursday at 25% capacity, and on Friday the state limit on public gatherings was raised from 250 people to 500. Indoor dining remains prohibited in the state.
New Jersey reported nearly 390 new positive cases on Friday, giving the state a total of more than 172,700 since the pandemic began earlier this year. There were 58 more deaths reported, pushing the state's total to 13,308.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.
TRAINS BACK TO NORMAL
Regular weekday train service will resume on Monday along with the collection of cash fares, New Jersey Transit said.
Trains had been running on a reduced schedule during the pandemic as ridership plunged more than 90%. On-board cash transactions were temporarily suspended as a precaution.
NJ Transit said on-board cash transactions on buses will resume in the coming weeks as barriers are installed to protect bus operators.