Charlotte Motor Speedway

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.