Horse racing at Golden Gate Fields in Albany. (Photo by Josh S. Jackson/Flickr)

The Golden Gate Fields horse racing track in Albany has suspended all racing activities due to the novel coronavirus pandemic after being contacted by the Alameda County Public Health Officer.

The track has been closed to the public since mid-March but was still running races that people could watch and bet on remotely. That all changed this past Thursday.

“We’ve had no public here whatsoever since the 12th of March,” said track General Manager David Duggan. “The place is effectively shuttered.”

It is unclear why the track was still operating since the Bay Area has been under a shelter-in-place order that required, among other things, all non-essential businesses to close.

In a news release, track officials said, “In accordance with instructions received this morning from the Alameda County Public Health Officer, Golden Gate Fields will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Officials with Alameda County didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional information.

This past week, health officers in several Bay Area counties and cities extended the shelter-in-place order through May 3 to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the region. The previous order, issued in mid-March, was set to expire April 7.

The new order covers all nine Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma — as well as the city of Berkeley.