(WBTV) - NASCAR is announcing event operational changes due to coronavirus fears after the virus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
NASCAR officials say they remains in daily consultation with public health officials and other prominent sports and entertainment properties as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation develops nationally and across local markets where they race.
In addition, officials have added an infectious disease specialist to their consulting physician group to provide technical assistance and to inform policy.
In following with discussions and guidance from counsel, NASCAR is implementing several adjustments to race event operations effective this weekend at Atlanta and remaining in effect indefinitely.
Measures being implemented include:
- Track Services meeting held in open air locations across all series.
- NASCAR recommends that access to team haulers be restricted to necessary personnel at team’s discretion.
- Driver appearances should be structured to ensure that drivers are visible to fans in an open-air setting, such as Q&A sessions.
- Drivers should pre-sign items whenever possible, carry their own Sharpie and hero cards should be the primary form for all autographs.
- Pre-race and post-race activities (driver introductions, grid & victory lane). We will provide a 6-foot buffer around the grid and driver introduction stage.
- All advance appearances will be replaced with remote media activities and/or rescheduled for a later date in coordination with racetracks.
- All individuals coming to the infield care center demonstrating symptoms potentially consistent with coronavirus will be appropriately handled by medical professionals. All facilities have been provided a standard operating process following CDC guidelines.
“The health, safety and well-being of our industry, employees, media, fans and everyone associated with our events remains our top priority. We will remain diligent as we actively monitor this situation with medical experts and health officials. We will keep everyone informed as to any additional prospective operational or scheduling changes,” a NASCAR press release read.