Tags: Coronavirus | roycooper | northcarolina | coronavirus

North Carolina Gov. Cooper Orders Racetrack Closed After Thousands Attend

a long line forms for tickets to ace speedway
Hundreds of race fans wait in line to purchase tickets at the Ace Speedway on in the rural Alamance County community of Altamahaw near Elon, N.C., Saturday, May 23, 2020 (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2020 08:07 PM

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday night ordered the closure of a major racetrack after it held races to near-capacity crowds despite COVID-19 restrictions, reports the News & Observer.

Cooper, who marched with a large group protesting the death of George Floyd, last week declared Ace Speedway an imminent hazard and said the racetrack had defied the governor’s orders prohibiting large gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cooper’s standing order bans outdoor, public gatherings of more than 25 people. ACE held races on May 23, 30 and June 6, drawing at least 2,300 spectators each.

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson on Tuesday asked for clarification but had not received a response.

“It puts me in a heck of a position as a sheriff, and any sheriff in this state, to try to write a citation to enforce the governor’s order when in fact it’s a constitutional violation in my opinion and the other sheriffs in this state,” Johnson said.

“The governor stepped up and issued an order of abatement of imminent hazard, which he could have done in the very beginning, and none of this would have been going on,” Johnson said.

In his order issued Monday, Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s DHHS secretary, said Ace could reopen with a state-approved plan.

“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.”

“Mass gatherings do spread the virus,” said Cohen. “It was irresponsible for them to keep operating in the way they were doing.”

Alamance County has at least 553 coronavirus cases and 31 deaths, according to the county's website.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday night ordered the closure of a major racetrack after it held races to near-capacity crowds despite COVID-19 restrictions, reports the News & Observer.Cooper, who marched with a large group protesting the death of George Floyd, last...
roycooper, northcarolina, coronavirus
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2020-07-09
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 08:07 PM
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