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COVID-19 safety rules to know before heading to Oaklawn infield

'We are ready to go!' The Oaklawn infield opens Saturday for the first time since COVID-19 shut everything down. But, there are safety rules in place.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — With spring just around the corner, signs of the season are starting to show. 

Warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and the infield at Oaklawn opening for the season, to name a few.

"Obviously, Oaklawn is very excited to be able to open the infield," Joan Botts, VP of Marketing for Oaklawn, said.

Although the infield opens Saturday, it doesn't mean rules won't be in place.

"We've been working closely with the governor's office and the state Department of Health since the get-go," Botts said. "We're obviously happy to do so, we want their guidance."

Some of that guidance includes social distancing, required masks, and even distanced music venues.

"Absolutely, it helps," Botts said. "Oaklawn will be monitoring how that space is filling in over the course of the day, but we do want to encourage folks to come out, and take advantage of it."

That's the finish line they're trying to cross though – the goal of having more fans back for the races, but also keeping them safe.

"We want people to take advantage of it, have a great time," Botts said. "At the same time, we're sensitive and we know that the public is sensitive to the fact that there is still a pandemic that we're still coming out of, coming off of, and we need to be respectful of that."

Even with the added challenges, they say they're ready.

"So it's really not that much to set up, other than making sure the space was manicured and laid out and cleaned up and ready to go, and we are ready to go," Botts said.