The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is issuing an Abatement Order requiring ACE Speedway to immediately close their facility and halt operations. The Speedway’s recent actions constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19, an acute threat to North Carolinians which must not continue.
This order follows a letter sent last week by Governor Roy Cooper’s office alerting ACE Speedway that their actions are in “open defiance” of Executive Order No. 141, which limits mass gatherings to protect the safety of North Carolinians. Gatherings of more than 25 people in a confined, outdoor space are strictly prohibited. The risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 is higher in settings where people gather, share facilities or have increased respiratory efforts, such as cheering. It was reported the Speedway admitted more than 2,500—and possibly as many as 4,000—spectators to attend races held at the track on May 23, May 30 and June 6.
While the Abatement Order halts operations, it allows ACE Speedway to propose a new plan which could allow races to resume, under the condition that steps be taken to adhere to the restrictions in place regarding mass gathering numbers and social distancing precautions.
The novel coronavirus continues to threaten North Carolina, with recent data indicating an acceleration in the number of new cases, a greater percentage of positive tests and an increase in hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19. Alamance County has had an increasing trend in number of cases since the start of the pandemic with larger increases in the numbers of cases since the last week in April. The doubling time for the outbreak in Alamance reached a maximum of 19.7 days in the last week of May, and decreased to 13.6 days in early June, indicating that viral spread is becoming more rapid.
“Across the state, North Carolinians are making huge sacrifices to protect their families and neighbors. This virus is highly contagious and very dangerous. Bad actors who flagrantly violate public health orders put all of our families and loved ones at risk,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.
Anyone who attended a mass event should get tested. The following online resources can help.
- Visit Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms) and enter your symptoms to determine if you should consider getting tested for COVID-19. If a test is recommended, you will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.
- Visit Find My Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace) and enter your county or ZIP code to access a list of nearby testing site locations online.
All North Carolinians should continue practicing the 3 Ws to protect themselves and others when leaving home. Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people. Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
For more data and information about North Carolina’s COVID-19 key metrics, visit the North Carolina COVID-19 Dashboard at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19.