LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Officials have cleared Santa Anita Park to resume horse racing this week but without spectators.

The Los Angeles County Health Department will allow Santa Anita to resume live racing beginning Friday. The track was closed March 27 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine races were scheduled for Friday.

The park will have protocols in place upon its reopening, including mandatory face masks, temperature checks and mandatory “social distancing” measures while on the property.

Officials say there will also be increased sanitation procedures, the creation of a “restricted zone” for jockeys, valets and other essential personnel who must have a negative COVID-19 test to access, and pre-race protocol to increase physical distancing, according to Santa Anita officials.

Santa Anita Park has seen dozens of horses die while racing or training at the park in the last 18 months.

Los Alamitos is the the only track in the state to hold live horse racing since Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered non-essential businesses to shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus.

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