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ALTOONA, Iowa — Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino will remain open for business, despite the governor’s recommendation to cancel mass gatherings.

Prairie Meadows President and CEO Gary Palmer says it will remain open so its more than 1,400 employees will not be without work during this time.

“We don’t want to completely close down for the heck of it because how are people going to eat and pay their bills? We want to keep it going as long as we can and as safe as we can here, but we are also prepared to close at any moment at any time if that’s what it comes to. Not a problem for us. We are ready for that,” said Palmer.

Extra precautions are being made as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state. The St. Patrick’s Day and Easter brunches have been cancelled. Beginning Monday, there will be no hotel in-room service and the hotel pool and fitness center are closed until further notice. Due to the increased risk, the Triple Crown self-serve buffet is now closed and will be turned into a café.

“Each day changes. Each hour changes. We are really concentrating on cleanliness and sanitation,” said Palmer.

Prairie Meadows expects to make a decision on whether or not to delay horse racing in the next few days. Live racing is scheduled to begin May 1.