LACONIA — As Motorcycle Week approaches in the time of COVID-19, precautions ranging from a special antiseptic spray to warning posters are being planned, and the governor’s office is taking an interest.
In a news conference Thursday, Gov. Chris Sununu said he had formed a team to work on preparedness for the event, which will be held Aug. 22-29.
“We learned a lot coming out of the NASCAR race,” he said. “We all feel confident that it can go off successfully. Preparing is the key to a lot of this.”
His office did not return repeated calls for further comment on Friday.
Jennifer Anderson, deputy director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said a conference call is to take place including representatives from the governor’s office and Mayor Andrew Hosmer.
Anderson said she wasn’t aware of any special team being formed.
“Our primary goal here is to communicate the importance of appropriate safety measures like we all know, hand washing, sanitizing, staying socially distant and, if not, wear a mask,” she said.
“It really is our priority to communicate that message to as many people as we can. The city has the same goal.”
Her organization is working with the Partnership for Public Health to get the message out.
“We’ve created posters, fliers, window decals for area businesses, restaurants, gas stations, lodging facilities, anywhere where people go,” she said.
“We’re promoting it on our website and in our email newsletters. There is no way someone is not going to know, even if they come from a state without strict rules.”
Normal places of congregation at The Weirs and at the Harley-Davidson dealer in Meredith will not have vendors this year in an attempt to reduce crowding.
“I’m really hoping they will get on their motorcycles and ride,” she said. “That’s the best form of social distancing. People don’t come to Laconia because of the vendors. It’s a beautiful state, great riding and has a very welcoming attitude.”
Of course some of the riding is weather dependent, and after a long ride, a motorcyclist wants something to eat or drink.
They will find bars and restaurants with their own social distancing guidelines in place, such as spaced out seating. Many will also offer outdoor service.
Restaurant customers are supposed to wear a mask except at the table. Wait staff is supposed to wear masks.
Anderson said Nano Coating Technologies of New Hampshire is applying a special coating to railings and other touchable surfaces in The Weirs that is intended to prevent the spread of the virus.
“NCT's Germ Inhibitor System with Bioprotect is effective against viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungus,” the company says on its website.
“It has proven effective against H1N1 influenza A, Poliovirus Type 2, Bacteriophage T2, Herpes Simplex Type 1.”