On Friday, March 27, Rochester’s mayor, Lovely Warren, announced that she was adding additional measures to her emergency plan in the light of the growing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and lack of adherence to social distancing orders. Mayor Warren has ordered the closure of all athletic fields, basketball courts and parks, city playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and tennis courts. Although police won’t be issuing fines or placing anyone under arrest at this moment, the Mayor isn’t taking any chances. With far too many people ignoring emergency orders, Mayor Warren plans to even temporarily remove athletic, fitness and play equipment, including basketball rims. The Cobb’s Hill dog park will remain open for now.
“Keeping people safe and limiting the spread of this virus is my top priority,” explained Mayor Warren. “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. No one is invincible.”
Later Warren continued: “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.”