WXXI AM News

Mayor Warren closes playgrounds, athletic fields, because of COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, all City of Rochester playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and athletic fields including basketball and tennis courts are closed until further notice.

Warren says the move is needed because the coronavirus can be around for a while, endangering other people who might use that equipment.

“This virus lives on hard surfaces for up to three days; your kids and loved ones can get sick from being on the same playground as someone who has the virus and was playing there before you,” Warren said.

Warren said the city will remove some pieces of fitness and athletic equipment, where it’s possible, to further encourage people to keep their social distance.

The mayor said that the city doesn’t want to have a ‘heavy hand’ in enforcing the new restrictions, but she said if people continue to congregate at some of these parks and playgrounds, more forceful action by authorities may be necessary, such as considering the possibility of issuing fines.

“If we start to see the numbers rise in a way that’s uncontrollable and we see that people are not complying with social distancing, then definitely we will take other measures that we must take in order to keep the community safe,” Warren said.  The mayor said that city parks remain open for passive recreation, such as walking and hiking. And she said that the dog park at Cobbs Hill remains open for now.

Warren says other local town and county parks in the area are adopting similar measures.