Eldora Speedway has joined the effort in battling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, donating critical supply
General manager Roger Slack said he began planning to secure facemasks in case Eldora Speedway decided to hold a few events without a crowd but needing masks for employees, their families and race teams.
Working with friends in Shanghai (who had warned about the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak), Slack took delivery on 2,800 masks from overseas last week – after the Centers for Disease Control had recommended limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people.
With Eldora Speedway remaining closed to the public (and its staff working from home since mid-March), Slack put out word in the region around the Rossburg, Ohio, dirt track that he would like to donate the masks to emergency workers who needed personal protective equipment. Within 30 minutes of contacting local hospitals and officials, all of the masks had been committed.
Slack said anywhere from 50 to 200 went to several local volunteer rescue squads that were rationing one mask per volunteer. More than 1,000 masks went to PremierHealth, which staffs Eldora’s infield care center with members of its Level 1 Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital and supports nearly every event with standby service via its CareFlight medical helicopter service.
“Nobody was greedy, they all just asked for whatever we could spare,” Slack told NBCSports.com
The half-mile track sent hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves and masks from its infield care center to a locally based manufacturing company that’s an essential business and was running low on personal protective equipment for its employees.
Eldora was scheduled to open its 67th season April 18, but Slack said last week “there will be early season events affected and postponed, but the situation changes so rapidly that it’s difficult to know how many or what dates are available for rescheduling.”