In the spring of 2019, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reported an increasing number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In early April, the health department announced that they had identified the first-known case of community spread in the state. After that, the number of cases jumped from 1 confirmed case to more than 100. This is a significant increase from the numbers of cases that the state had reported at the end of March, when there were only 26 confirmed cases in Indiana.
Why is 2019 So Different From Preceding Years?
The CDC estimates that there are currently more than 120,000 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and over 40,000 deaths. To put these numbers in perspective, there were only around 400 cases in the U.S. in 2019 and no deaths as a result of COVID-19. This is in large part due to the country’s widespread adoption of lockdown policies and the closing of non-essential businesses. As a result of these efforts, the number of cases dropped by 98% compared to March 2019, and the number of deaths attributable to COVID-19 decreased by 94% in the same month.
In Indiana, the confirmed case count increased from 26 at the end of March to over 100 by the end of April. This was a significantly higher number than the 5 confirmed cases that the state had reported at the end of March. However, the state’s case count is still considerably lower than that of some other states, such as Michigan, where the number of cases topped 500 at one point. This is likely due to Michigan’s more relaxed testing criteria.
What Does this Mean For Race Car Drivers?
It’s important to remember that not all COVID-19 cases are the result of someone being infected by SARS-CoV-2. There are other, more serious causes of COVID-19, such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. These diseases are often associated with cases of secondary infections and severe health problems. As a result, it’s important to practice safe hygiene and prevention measures even if you don’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19. This is why it’s important to ask the question, “Is Speedway Indiana Safe?”
To answer this question, let’s first look at the condition of the track. Following the first identified case of community spread in Indiana in early April, the State Department of Health closed the track for five days. The safety of the drivers and the audience was paramount, and the state allowed the garage to reopen on a limited basis. It was also announced that all racing events would be postponed until further notice.
While the track was closed, crews cleaned and disinfected the infield and the cars. After the track reopened on a limited basis, more stringent cleaning measures were put in place. These included additional cleaning and disinfecting of the entire garage and track surfaces. Since then, the track has remained closed to racing events, and any visitors must adhere to social distancing measures.
More On The Safety Of The Event
On April 9th, the ISDH released a statement regarding the safety of the Speedway event in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Indiana. In it, they addressed several issues, including the cleaning of the cars and paddock area prior to and after the event:
“The safety of our race drivers and our attendees is our number one priority, and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure the events you and your family enjoy are safe and enjoyable. When the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Indiana, we immediately closed the track and took the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our customers and the crews who work hard to make this event happen. After careful consideration and several discussions with local, state, and federal officials, we’ve determined that while the track remains closed, there will be no restrictions on cleaning or disinfecting the cars or facility prior to, or following, an IndyCar or NASCAR event. This will help ensure the safety of our customers and the crews who work hard to make this event happen.”
As mentioned, the Speedway is one of the biggest races in the country. It’s been a popular fixture on the racing calendar for years, attracting top-name drivers and massive crowds. As a result of the pandemic, the event’s first race is now planned for May 4th, with the annual NASCAR race set to take place on June 16th. Interestingly, the IndyCar race will also be held on June 16th, but will be followed by a rainout on June 17th. This year’s IndyCar race will be held at a remaining date to be determined.
One of the biggest criticisms of the Speedway is that it’s a bit of a hazardous racing event due to the high volume of cars and trucks that travel on and around the track. There are also tons of people who attend the events, creating a huge potential for someone to get infected. While there are measures in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at the track, including mandatory masks for all attendees and track employees, limiting the number of vehicles that are permitted to enter the garage, and limiting the number of spectators in the grandstand, there isn’t any kind of racing mask available for purchase for the general public. This creates a potential vulnerability for the drivers and attendees, as well as anyone who comes in contact with them (such as valets, mechanics, and journalists). This is somewhat ironic, as one of the reasons the IndyCar and NASCAR races are considered to be safer than most others is because the attendees tend to be aged 45 and older, and thus more likely to have some immunity to the disease. The younger generation, which is less likely to have antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 because they’ve never been exposed, are consequently more susceptible to the disease.
It’s also important to note that while there have been a limited number of cases of COVID-19 at the Speedway, there haven’t been any deaths. This is likely due to the fact that the majority of the cases are concentrated in older adults and people with underlying health problems. Those who attend the Speedway typically have significantly less immunity to COVID-19 than the average American. As a result, they’re less likely to have a severe reaction to the virus. This is good news, because it means that the drivers and attendees are less likely to be a threat to others.
What About The Audience?
The safety of the audience is also something to consider, as there have been instances of people in the standing-room-only grandstands getting infected and potentially spreading the virus. While many race fans have a stereotype image of a COVID-19 patient in mind when thinking about someone with the disease, there isn’t any evidence that the virus spreads via standing or close physical contact. To put it simply, people with COVID-19 don’t usually show up at the doctor’s office with the virus. They usually show up with symptoms, such as a fever or trouble breathing. These symptoms often obscure the fact that the patient may actually be infected with COVID-19, leading them to miss their chance of receiving the vaccine.
However, the safety of the drivers and the audience doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly. Despite the state’s best efforts, there are still many risks associated with the racing events. One of the greatest challenges is keeping up with the cleanliness of the cars and the track surfaces, especially after each race. There are also mechanical risks associated with racing, such as stopping the engine and wiping down the handrail before and after each lap.
All of these risks need to be weighed against the benefits of a sport that many people enjoy. When the future of racing is considered, it’s important to keep these benefits in mind.