Health department issues $1,000 Notice of Violation to Indianapolis Speedrome

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — After the Marion County Public Health Department looked into complaints about possible health order violations at the Indianapolis Speedrome, health officials issued a Notice of Violation on Monday.

The Notice of Violation was also filed for court, seeking a $1,000 fine as allowed in the order.

The health department determined that, during an event Saturday, the facility violated the public health order by greatly exceeding its 25% capacity limit for attendance, which also calls for proper social distancing of six feet, and that the face covering requirement for guests was not properly enforced.

The Marion County Public Health Department said this enforcement action does not prohibit the Indianapolis Speedrome from hosting its scheduled events as submitted to the health department in the Speedrome’s risk mitigation plan, as long the facility remains in compliance with current public health orders.

Viewers sent FOX59 video and pictures of the crowd at the track for races on Saturday night. They show bleachers on a side of the track filled with people and few spectators wearing masks.

A Facebook post late Monday afternoon, Indianapolis Speedrome said racing will continue on August 15.

“After clarifying a few things with the health department, masks/face coverings are required on all of the Speedrome property. We will also need to follow social distancing. Thank you for supporting the Indianapolis Speedrome,” reads the post.

“I believe people are completely overreacting, and the world is doing just fine. We all just need to respect each other. Stay clean,” said Angela Bohrer.

Bohrer went to the races with her family, including her 78-year-old mother, on Saturday. She felt very safe at the event.

“It was the most amazing evening that I have seen Indiana have since before COVID,” she said. “Everyone was friendly. Everyone kept to themselves. People weren’t touching each other. People were very clean.”

One picture taken by a viewer at the venue shows a sign urging people to stay six feet apart. The day before the races, Indianapolis Speedrome posted on Facebook telling visitors to sit in every other row.

“The Marion county guidelines continue. Indoors, masks are required. Outdoors, masks are recommended. Use them when not able to social distance. Sit in every other row. A 25% capacity limit is in effect (which we have not reached yet this year),” said the Facebook post.

According to current orders, sporting venues in Marion County can not exceed 25% capacity. Another fan we spoke to said he did not see many empty seats.

“We didn’t let fear stop us from going,” said Brett Churchill. “We could have walked out, but we felt safe enough to just go ahead and stay.”

Others are concerned about what these pictures show, including Shandy Dearth, who is the director of the Undergrad Epidemiology Program at the Fairbanks School of Public Health.

“This is a time to think about someone other than yourself,” Dearth said. “So even though you might be fine, you could actually get the virus and transmit it to another person.”

She is worried someone’s good time on Saturday night could do some harm and damage to somebody else. The vice president of Medical Affairs at Franciscan Health of Central Indiana also did not like what he saw in the video.

“We have had patients die within the last week of this virus, and in many cases it is from inadvertent exposures,” said Christopher Doehring.

According to their website, the Indianapolis Speedrome has an event scheduled every week in August and September. The next one is Saturday, August 15.

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