niagara covid cases

The real life Mario Kart racetrack in Niagara Falls closed after COVID-19 case

The epic multi-storey go kart track in Niagara Falls that is reminiscent of something out of Mario Kart has had to suddenly shut down after only a month of being open for the season due to a COVID-19 case in a staff member.

After being told by the Niagara Regional Health Department that an employee had indeed tested positive for the virus earlier this month, the Niagara Speedway made the decision to suspend operations in the interest of public safety.

According to the establishment, the affected staffer "had adhered to all safety protocols in place, including the wearing of a mask, during each shift that was worked," and the decision to shutter is only out of an abundance of caution while the proper contact tracing and self-isolation of other team members is underway.

All workers will also be tested for the communicable disease, and anyone who was there between July 12 and 14 is being advised to do the same.

Being a travel destination that relies largely on tourist dollars means that Niagara Falls has been hit particularly hard by the months of pandemic closures, and was eager to open up again as soon as possible, inviting visitors back to the majority of its attractions in mid-June when it proceeded into Stage 2.

The two-year-old Speedway is just one of the amenities that people have flocked to since they have been allowed to return — and flock they have, with locals noting how overcrowded the Falls and the city's streets have been lately, with little physical distancing (including at the go kart track in particular).

Like many Ontario locales, Clifton Hill made mask wearing mandatory in all indoor public spaces earlier this month, though notably later than others.

As much of the province adjusts to Stage 3 of reopening — which includes the return of indoor dining, movie theatres, gyms and more — health officials are keeping a close eye on whether case numbers and outbreaks will increase, and worry that the Niagara region is becoming a new hotspot for the virus.

Lead photo by

Clifton Hill


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