JEFFERSON COUNTY, CO — Jeffco Public Health has issued a statement in response to accusations that the agency canceled events at the Bandimere Speedway. Officials received complaints from community members after the Bandimere family said the agency was putting them out of business.
Jeffco Public Health filed a lawsuit against the racetrack after the Jet Car Nationals July 4. The speedway failed to follow court-ordered public health requirements at the event, health officials said. The suit requested a permanent injunction against the racetrack; however a new public health order rendered the issue "moot," a judge ruled.
Speedway owners said they set up a meeting with the public health agency to work on a plan for upcoming events. The agency then canceled the meeting, according to the Bandimere family.
"Jefferson County Health Department will not approve any of the plans we have sent and the list of rules and guidelines they want us to follow makes it impossible for us to be open," the speedway said in a tweet.
Here is Jefferson County Public Health's statement, in full:
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has heard frustration from community members, expressed through emails, social media and in the media, that events scheduled to take place at Bandimere Speedway have been cancelled due to the restrictions in place around COVID-19. There have also been inaccurate claims that events have been “canceled by JCPH.” We understand the community’s desire to return to the events that bring them joy, but stand firm in our mission as the health department to keep our community safe.
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We want to reiterate that the State’s guidelines for outdoor events have been in place since June 18, 2020, through CDPHE PHO 20-28. The process for complying with those guidelines has also been in place, and we have been working with numerous organizers of outdoor events to find ways to operate while adhering to the state’s requirements.
Even though criteria for outdoor events compliance has been clearly outlined in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s PHO 20-28, compliance has not been attained by some venues. As part of a mitigation plan to ensure compliance with the State’s Order regarding large events, JCPH issued Public Health Order 20-007 on July 20. This order simply requires venues hosting outdoor events to submit a plan that demonstrates compliance with the State’s PHO 20-28; it does not change any of the steps a venue must take to operate according to PHO 20-28.
We continue to work in partnership with all venues to ensure that compliance with public health orders is achieved. The goal of each action taken by JCPH is not to punish any of our area businesses or organizations, but to keep the people within our community safe and healthy. Especially now, as we are seeing cases of COVID-19 sharply rise in Jefferson County and are entering a phase of rapid mitigation in order to maintain the variances and relaxations in regulations that are in place, it’s more important than ever that everyone in our community work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A new order requires venues that host large events to provide a plan outlining how they will adhere to the state's public health orders.
"Specifically, venues holding events with more than one designated activity, which would permit more than 100 people inside or 175 people outside, must submit a plan to JCPH and receive approval in writing prior to such events taking place," health officials said.