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A NASCAR employee who was at Atlanta Motor Speedway before the sanctioning body decided not to race on March 14 and 15 has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
NASCAR notified teams Wednesday of the positive test. Anyone who came in contact with the employee has been asked to remain in quarantine until March 27. Some NASCAR employees and team members were at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, March 13, before NASCAR made the decision to postpone the race weekend that morning.
The message to teams came 12 days after the employee was in potential contact with team members, meaning that the virus could have been spread asymptomatically in the interim. Those with COVID-19 may not have symptoms for up to 14 days after contracting the virus and people who are asymptomatic can spread the virus without knowing it.
The notification also comes a day after NASCAR told its employees that their pay would be cut by at least 20 percent.
Before postponing the race weekend entirely, NASCAR had decided to run the event without fans. That decision obviously would not have stopped the spread of the virus among those who work for and around NASCAR and would have been at the track at Atlanta.
NASCAR was one of the last sports governing bodies to make the decision to stop hosting events. Its decision came after college basketball conference tournaments were postponed as they began and a day after the NCAA made the decision to cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Hindsight is clearly 20/20, but had NASCAR made the decision to postpone the Atlanta weekend a day sooner, any at-track exposure to the employee who tested positive would not have happened.
NASCAR is currently planning to resume racing on May 9 at Martinsville after seven postponed Cup Series races. The sanctioning body has said it plans to make up each of the seven postponed races.
PIRELLI NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES A SLOWDOWN PLAN FOR ITS FACTORY IN ROME, GEORGIA.
Pirelli, in an effort to protect the health and safety of its workers amid the spread of the Covid-19, will reduce operations at its tire production plant in Rome, Georgia, starting Sunday, March 22nd.
Following the slowdown, Pirelli will close the plant for one week starting Sunday 29th, to clean and sanitize the entire facility and also to respond to a lower demand of the market. Implementing a slower rate of production will result in a reduction in the number of employees present, ensuring the safety of those in the factory, while not interrupting supply to our clients.
Pirelli is constantly monitoring the evolution of the situation and is ready at any moment to adopt additional measures if they become necessary.