Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, one of the largest sporting events in the region, will look different to NASCAR fans as part of the state's measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"We want to make sure we’re welcoming fans to the race, but also keeping them safe," New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said in a news conference on Thursday.
An estimated 12,000 people are expected to fill the raceway. Based on ticket sales, nearly 90% of expected crowd are from the New England area, Sununu said.
Sununu also said he sent a letter to NASCAR president Steve Phelps outlining coronavirus mitigation plans for staff members and drivers arriving for the race.
According to Sununu, NASCAR staff and drivers will be only be allowed to travel between their hotel and the raceway.
"There would be a need to [have] modifications to the opening and closing ceremonies to maintain social distancing," said Sununu, suggesting that there would not be crowds gathered on the track before and after the race.
"It will look and feel a little different," Sununu said.
As of Thursday, there were 33 new coronavirus cases, raising the state's total cases to 6533. There were also 4 new deaths as a result of COVID-19, all of which were in long-term health care facilities.
Sununu announced Tuesday the state will conduct two-week reviews of various long-term health care facilities, which have been central to the state's outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The reviews at the facilities will analyze their current ventilation system, air filtration system, whether there's central air with ductwork, what type of air filtration system exists, how air flows through the facility and where the facility sustained the outbreak, the governor said.
Sununu's press conference is scheduled hours after the governor responded to President Donald Trump's tweet suggesting a delay in the election, citing possible challenges with mail-in voting.
"Make no mistake: the election will happen in New Hampshire on November 3rd. End of story," he said. "Our voting system in NH is secure, safe, and reliable. We have done it right 100% of the time for 100 years -- this year will be no different."
"As with everything we do, we must be data-driven," Sununu said. "We will leave no stone unturned as we look to find emerging patterns in how this outbreak may spread throughout these facilities."