Atrium Health

Charlotte Motor Speedway complex repurposed for COVID-19 testing

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Charlotte Motor Speedway has become the latest front in North Carolina’s battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Atrium Health announced it was opening a COVID-19 testing center at zMax Dragway, which is adjacent to the 1.5-mile oval that has played host to NASCAR races since 1960 and part of the CMS complex that is owned by Speedway Motorsports.

A release from Atrium Health says CMS “has become the first professional sports venue in the country to serve the community as a remote testing site” during the outbreak.

“At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we work for the fans, salute our military and serve our community,”  Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Greg Walter said in the release. “During these unprecedented times, we want to support our neighbors and the region with what we can do to keep people healthy. Atrium Health has been a longtime partner of ours and we’re happy to work with them to provide a well-known, accessible and safe place to host this remote testing site for as long as there is a need.”

An Atrium Health spokesman said testing “would be dictated by patient volume,” and a physician referral is required for a test, which aren’t available on demand.

Here’s the release from Atrium Health:

For more than 60 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been a place for “firsts.” Today, in yet another first, the speedway has become the first professional sports venue in the country to serve the community as a remote testing site during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In partnership with the speedway, Atrium Health has created a Coronavirus Testing Center at zMAX Dragway, part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex.

The remote testing site provides a convenient location for residents of northern Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties to have their tests performed when ordered by their physician. Atrium Health has several additional sites throughout the Charlotte region, each in locations designed to provide a secure, private environment for patients to be tested.

Testing for COVID-19 is conducted without patients having to get out of their cars, which reduces the possibility of infecting other patients and healthcare workers. Healthcare providers will make appointments and direct patients to designated testing centers where medical professionals will approach the patients at their cars. These tests involve obtaining swabbed samples, which are then tested at Atrium Health’s in-house lab, and patients are typically notified of the results in approximately 24 hours. Atrium Health can test approximately 1,000 samples each day and is one of the
only health systems in the nation to have this capability.

“Having these types of remote locations, away from a hospital or other care locations, yet convenient for people in need of testing, is essential to helping contain the spread of the coronavirus,” said Jim Hunter, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Atrium Health. “It’s important to note that patients still need to meet the established criteria for testing by a healthcare provider, which will keep other patients and healthcare workers safe, as well as protect our testing supplies. We deeply appreciate this partnership opportunity with Charlotte Motor Speedway to make a significant impact on the
health of our community.”

“At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we work for the fans, salute our military and serve our community,” said Greg Walter, Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager. “During these unprecedented times, we want to support our neighbors and the region with what we can do to keep people healthy. Atrium Health has been a longtime partner of ours and we’re happy to work with them to provide a well-known, accessible and safe place to host this remote
testing site for as long as there is a need.”

Atrium Health continues to work to keep the communities it serves safe and informed. The latest information including prevention tips, frequently asked questions and care options are found at http://www.AtriumHealth.org/Coronavirus.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”