A new decree from the city of Austin, Texas, has outlawed events containing more than 2500 attendees in an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The ban, announced Monday, went into immediate effect and extends through May 1. Round 4 of the upcoming NTT IndyCar Season, held at Circuit of The Americas in outer Austin, is scheduled to be held April 24-26, and would easily exceed the 2500-person limit.
“From now through May 1, events with 2,500 or more people are prohibited unless organizers are able to assure Austin Public Health (APH) that mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place,”the statement says. “Each event will be evaluated case-by-case.
“APH will conduct a risk assessment for every event of 2,500 or more people, including special events and permanently-permitted venues with a capacity of 2,500 or more.”
In order to receive approval for the COTA IndyCar race, the track would need to present a virus outbreak mitigation plan to APH, and provided it’s accepted, the race would go forward. A three-page checklist has been provided for venues like COTA to submit to the APH, which contains clear wording on the intended goal and potential changes to the review process.
It states: “In order to mitigate the spread of disease, this information will allow staff to provide the event sponsor guidance about how they can make improvements to ensure the overall health and safety of their event. Please note this checklist is subject to change due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 and guidance from federal, state and local government. Events already permitted in the City of Austin will be required to submit responses to this checklist in order to maintain their existing permit.”
RACER understands COTA has already been in touch with local authorities regarding the IndyCar race, and with a proper mitigation plan in place, the likelihood of receiving a permit to continue with the race as scheduled is said to be highly favorable.
COTA delivered an update Tuesday morning on Twitter saying the race will go forward, suggesting the mitigation plan was approved.