Long Island News Post Published on April, 16th 2020
Parks on Long Island Closed Because of Coronavirus
Have you tried to go out for a walk through your neighborhood during this social distancing period and notice your local parks being closed? Since it has been advised to avoid groups of 10 or more people and to keep 6 feet away from others, many of the activities done in parks are currently off limits such as sports and visiting the playground with friends.
However, does this mean Long Island Parks themselves are closed? Many Long Island Towns have sent officials to tape off the entrances to all parks to enforce these Social Distancing precautions. As many people look to get out and enjoy the weather they are starting to notice the crime scene like tape on their local park entrances.
Are Long Island Parks Officially Closed?
Even though many parks in Long Island seem to be closed off to the public, all outdoor parks in New York State are officially open, per the New York State website. The state advises to take the proper precautions if you want to visit public parks.
The DEC and State Parks recommend that visitors looking to go to a state park, state land, or other park to:
- Stay at your local park rather than travel a far distance
- Keep your visit brief
- Only visit parks in small groups, consisting of immediate family members
- When in public parks, maintain safe Social Distance from others and crowded areas
- Do not play sports that require close contact such as basketball, football, or soccer
- Avoid frequently touched surfaces such as playground equipment
Important Note: Wash your hands immediately after leaving any public location and do not touch your face.
Is It Fair To Tape Off Long Island Parks?
Because Long Island Parks are officially open, you may be asking yourself why many Long Island Towns have been taping the entrances shut. This is to deter as large groups of people as possible because Long Island parks were unsafely crowded in the beginning phase of the quarantine as people were itching to take advantage of the nice weather.
This leads to the question: If parks are open, is it fair to tape them off?
Although roping off the entrance to the park may be a bit much, closing off areas where people may come in close contact seems to be a good idea for the best interest of everyone. For example, roping off the sports courts, fields, and playground areas will greatly reduce the risk of COVID-19 being spread.
However, we would prefer if local officials would leave the entrances to the parks open to allow people who are trying to be active during this time to enjoy nature and take advantage of the large open areas that they may not have on their own property.
When Will Long Island Parks Reopen?
Even though Long Island Parks are currently officially stated as being “open”, we should see the tape removed from facilities as soon as the Social Distancing mandations are lifted. Although we expect to see playgrounds and fields re opened to the public for recreational use, we do not know how long it will be until organized sports resume.
Long Island Sports League’s will have to wait to hear from local officials before resuming operations. Due to the timing of this pandemic, the effect on the Long Island Summer Sports season remains to be seen.
Is It Currently Safe To Go To Long Island Parks?
Thinking about visiting a Long Island Park? You may be wondering if you are putting you and your loved ones at risk. If you take the proper precautions, you can safely go to a park amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The CDC has put its own set of guidelines in place to be safe and reduce the risk associated with traveling to a public park. These guidelines are as follows:
- If you are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19 then Stay Home!
- Symptoms include fever, coughing, and trouble breathing.
- Practice Social Distancing- Keep at least 6 feet away from others, even outdoors
- Avoid any kind of close contact (Shaking Hands, High- Fives, Hugging)
- Wash hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid contact with surfaces that are regularly touched, such as handrails and doorknobs
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Long Island News Post Updated April 16th, 2020
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