NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In New York City, social distancing rules are being strictly enforced; ten playgrounds are now shut down due to overcrowding.
In the new New York City, just a few people walk dogs along Riverside Boulevard, the normally packed bike path along the Hudson is a much different scene, and at the Little Engine Playground, the few kids and adults are greeted with a caution sign warning to play at your own risk, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reports.
It appears social distancing rules are being followed at that playground, but elsewhere, the mayor says that’s not the case, forcing the city to close 10 popular playgrounds.
“Playgrounds that had crowding multiple times, they will be shut down. They will be locked. There’ll be signs put up. There’ll be enforcement,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
Four playgrounds in Brooklyn are on the list — Middleton Playground, Brighton Playground and two playgrounds in Fort Greene Park.
In Manhattan, the city is locking the Raoul Wallenberg Playground and the Jacob Javits Playground in Fort Tryon Park.
Also on the list are two playgrounds in Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island, Mauro Playground in Queens and Watson Gleason Playground in the Bronx.
- State-By-State, County-By-County Resources
- Distance Learning Tools for Teachers & Parents
- Ask Dr. Max Your Questions
- Tips For Avoiding Psychological Isolation
- Talking To Kids About Anxiety
- How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
- CDC Latest Updates
But even with the Jacob Javits Playground locked up, some people managed to get in.
The mayor has warned if the public does not follow social distancing rules, more parks and playgrounds around the city will close.
Video from the Field of Dreams Park in the Bronx shows people playing basketball pretty close, doing the exact opposite of what’s being asked.
The NYPD is out surveying parks, tweeting a picture of an officer at an empty playground in Harlem.
Out surveying the @NYCParks in the #Harlem community. #NYPD would like to thank all our residents for complying with #SocialDistancing. #StayAtHome and help #FlattenTheCurve. pic.twitter.com/XKEZvSlqC5
— NYPD 32nd Precinct (@NYPD32Pct) March 31, 2020
New York City is following in the footsteps of Hoboken, which took aggressive steps Monday closing all its parks and dog parks in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211
The police chief in Bronxville, Westcshester County, voiced the same concerns.
“My frustration turned to anger when we saw large groups of villagers congregating in the business district, drinking coffee, children riding bicycles together,” Chief Christopher Satriale said.
The concern prompted police to close playgrounds and playing fields. They’re considering removing benches if people keep congregating.
A message on signs in Westchester County really applies across our area in this pandemic: “Stay safe. Stay home. Save lives.”