FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/22/20
Upon learning that ACE Speedway intends to reopen on May 23, Alamance County has decided not to prohibit its reopening during Phase 2 of Governor Cooper’s plan to reopen North Carolina.
Over the past month, ACE Speedway has communicated extensively with the Alamance County Department of Public Health regarding recommended precautions in an effort to reduce potential exposures. ACE plans to implement several precautions, including screening attendees and providing rosters to the Health Department to facilitate contact tracing, in the event it is needed. In addition, ACE will maintain 10 feet distance between each car in the pit area, recommend masks for crews and 6 feet social distancing in the pit area, provide alcohol hand sanitizer solution at multiple areas (minimum of 10 stations) on infield premises, and provide precaution signage at the entrance, bathrooms, tech shed, and fuel and tire areas. Areas will be marked off in the grandstands to support social distancing. Bathrooms will be disinfected regularly and high touch areas will be disinfected every hour. Special precautions will be taken when dropping off wheels to be mounted and picked up and at fuel drop off. Plexiglas partitions have been installed where needed. The number of persons in the infield and outfield have been limited.
County Attorney Clyde Albright said, “The Exemptions listed in Section 4 of Executive Order 141 include activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights, which include the right to peaceably assemble. This exemption retroactively applies to earlier Executive Orders. Significantly, the Governor’s language in the Exemption has changed from ‘order’ to ‘strongly urges’. The Governor recognizes that he may only urge people engaged in exercising First Amendment rights to practice social distancing and other disease control measures. He cannot Constitutionally limit the number of people who can peaceably assemble under the First Amendment. The Temporary Restraining Order
issued last Friday by United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, in the lawsuit Berean et al versus Governor Roy A. Cooper, held that the earlier Executive Orders violate the freedom to attend worship services protected by the First Amendment. Because the right to peaceably assemble is also a First Amendment right, if Alamance County were to attempt to restrict the operation of a business not otherwise restricted by Executive Order 141 then such action may itself be in violation of the First Amendment.”
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson stated, “When I took my oath of office, I swore to uphold the United States Constitution. I will not enforce an unconstitutional law. Upon hearing the opinion of the County Attorney, I do not intend to stop ACE Speedway from opening on Saturday, May 23.”
All Alamance County residents are strongly encouraged to follow the recommendations to promote social distancing and reduce transmission, including maintaining at least six feet from other individuals, wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer, frequently washing hands, and remaining home if sick. Alamance County is committed to protecting the health and safety of its residents, while recognizing that Americans have freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution.