Jefferson County Public Health is promising to pursue legal action against Bandimere Speedway's owner after the speedway held a racing event on July 4 that violated a court order that laid out crowd …
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Jefferson County Public Health is promising to pursue legal action against Bandimere Speedway's owner after the speedway held a racing event on July 4 that violated a court order that laid out crowd size and social distancing requirements for the event.
According to a statement posted on the JCPH website, JCPH and Bandimere agreed to “clear, court ordered requirements” leading up to the Jet Car Nationals event “with the intention of permitting a well-controlled event to proceed.”
“While Bandimere said they would comply prior to the event, those requirements were violated,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, that agreement included requirements for six feet of social distancing between households to be maintained and that gatherings within the venue be limited to “175 people per activity area” However, the release clarified that requirement did not limit the entire venue to 175 people.
Instead, Bandimere was supposed to use the social distance calculator to determine how many individuals, up to a maximum of 175 people, could safely social distance in various areas, such as individual grandstands.
"This did not occur," JCPH Public Affairs Manager Ashley Sever said.
Sever said the county does not have an estimate of the total attendance at the event although they did collect evidence that social distancing requirements were violated.
In the statement, JCPH Executive Director Mark Johnson said he wants Jeffco's businesses, which he called “pillars of the community,” to safely operate but that interest must be balanced with those of keeping the community safe as case numbers are starting to increase again in Jeffco.
“We are proud that the large majority of our local businesses are working diligently to keep themselves and others safe,” Johnson said in the release. “However, when one business does not, it compromises the health and economy of our entire community.”
JCPH first expressed concern about the July 4 event on June 29, when JCPH Director Johnson sent a letter to the speedway's owner, John Bandimere, alleging that the number of tickets available for upcoming events, including the Jet Car Nationals, suggested that the speedway was planning to violate crowd size and social distancing requirements at those events. The letter also noted that some types of tickets came with the promise of access to a buffet, which would also violate current public-health-0rder requirements that ban buffets.
The letter concluded by stating that Bandimere Speedway should submit a letter to JCPH detailing the protocols Bandimere had put in place to ensure the July 4 event operated in compliance with public health requirements by 5 p.m. on July 1. Ashley Sever, the Public Affairs Manager for JCPH, said on July 2 JCPH had not yet received such a letter.
However, JCPH and Bandimere's owners then reached an agreement with Bandimere posting on its Facebook page on July 3 that the event would be happening as scheduled with Jeffco Health Department officials monitoring social distancing guidelines. The post also noted that every other row in the grandstands would be marked unavailable for seating and encouraged attendees to practice social distancing.
Colorado Community Media reached out to Bandimere Speedway on July 2 and again on July 6 about the situation but has not received a response.
A July 5 post on the Bandimere Facebook account stated “The Bandimere staff and family want to thank everyone for their support of the Brakes Plus Jet Nationals `Freedom Rally.' We can't even begin to describe how much we appreciate the racers, fans, sponsors, and staff members for standing by our side. Thank you for spending your Independence Day with us celebrating freedom the best way we know how.”
The Bandimere website is continuing to sell general admission tickets for the July 26 Truck Invasion event. However, it no longer appears to be selling tickets for other events, including the Bug In scheduled for July 12.
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