ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced Friday the closure of city playgrounds, athletic fields, and outdoor fitness equipment amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among the measures, all city basketball parks are closed, and rims will be removed at city basketball parks.
“Keeping people safe and limiting the spread of this virus is my top priority,” said Mayor Warren in a press release. “I understand how difficult it is to keep kids entertained and how hard it is to be cooped up at home. But, this virus lives on hard surfaces. Your kids and loved ones can get sick from being on the same playground as someone who has the virus and was playing there three days ago. You or your child can bring the virus home. We all need to be smarter and safer.”
The City will temporarily remove playground, fitness and athletic equipment, where possible. Dog park at Cobb’s Hill will remain open, but Mayor Warren emphasized the importance of social distancing.
The mayor said, unfortunately, many pickup games have continued on City courts and fields despite numerous announcements about the need for social distancing.
“No one is invincible,” the Mayor said. “I understand that many people, young and old, think that they won’t get this virus, or they won’t get seriously sick. Simply put, if you think you can’t get sick, that you can’t die from this virus, you are wrong. You can get sick. You can and will make others sick, including people you love. Stop playing ball and working out on our courts. They are closed. I will be the first one out there when they reopen. But, for now, stay safe and stay home.”
As a result all athletic fields, as well as basketball and tennis courts, are being closed to help people who are refusing to make the right decisions to protect them and others.
“Being outside in contact with people makes you prone to getting the virus,” Warren said. “We have to make sure we making every effort to get people to make right decisions.”
The mayor asks Rochester residents to exercise in a solitary way, and stay away from others in big groups, even when outdoors.
The Mayor says the city will not be arresting anyone or issuing fines, but are asking all Rochester residents to comply.
“We are going to see these numbers go up if we don’t practice social distancing,” Warren said.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.