The Washington County Health Department closed the Hagerstown Speedway. The reason? For non-compliance with Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hagerstown Raceway has been non-compliant for months now. They’ve been holding races open to the general public in defiance of the law. People haven’t practiced social distancing. People have not worn face coverings. If it wasn’t for the cars driving around in circles, you might have thought there was a Black Lives Matter protest going on west of Hagerstown.
From the official press release issued by the Washington County Health Department:
The decision to close the Hagerstown Speedway was not taken lightly or made hastily. For several months, the Health Department has been in communication with the Hagerstown Speedway regarding warnings of violations, giving them opportunities to corrections in order to operate their business in a manner that does not pose an unreasonable risk of exacerbating the spread of COVID-19.
The Hagerstown Speedway needed to close
The decision to close the Hagerstown Speedway was not taken lightly or made hastily? That’s not something to brag about. When they saw the law being broken without any regard for public safety, they should have closed the Hagerstown Speedway with haste.
Only the Washington County Health Department can close down businesses within the county that are not adhering to Governor Hogan’s executive orders pertaining to the pandemic. It’s their responsibility. It’s their duty. The fact that it took them months to carry out their mandated duty is, quite frankly, embarrassing.
I’m no fan of the Washington County Health Department
Governor Hogan’s legally binding executive orders put in place because of COVID-19 are meaningless if they’re not enforced. Because the health department in Washington County has a laissez-faire attitude towards the pandemic, it’s making life riskier in the county than it needs to be. Area businesses are not enforcing physical distancing. They are not enforcing the wear of face coverings. Businesses get away with not adhering to CDC guidelines because they don’t have to. They don’t have to because the health department is not making them do it.
Sure, businesses will plaster signs everywhere declaring that face coverings are required and people need to stay at least six feet away from others. It’s all for show. If people choose to ignore the signs and walk around with their faces fully exposed, they’re free to do that.
It’s also false advertising. When you see these signs on the outside of a business, you think it’s a safe place to shop and spend your money. Wrong.
People who run these businesses don’t care. They know the Washington County Health Department will not shut them down. This is the same government entity that assisted one of the area flea markets getting reclassified as a grocery store so it could cheat and reopen early.
I try to avoid risky activities
I’m tired of feeling like I’m risking my life every time I go grocery shopping. I get the fact that there is no way to be completely safe when going out in public during a pandemic. I totally get that. I don’t appreciate having to accept even more risk simply because my county’s health department is negligent and refuses to do its assigned duty. Sure, they finally shut down that Hagerstown Speedway. Where do they think the people acting recklessly at the race track shop for groceries and toilet paper? What was transpiring at the race track is happening everywhere in the county.
The problem is everywhere in Washington County, not just the race track. The Health Department needs to get to work on enforcing Governor Hogan’s executive order everywhere else.