LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer has extended the state of emergency he recently enacted to help stop the coronavirus outbreak in Louisville.

His original executive order was signed on March 13 and is now extended until May 10.

Fischer believes the next few weeks will be critical as the city tries to curb the spread of coronavirus and prevent a surge of new cases from overwhelming hospitals.

“Things are changing rapidly,” he said. “We have to slow the spread of COVID-19, and working together, practicing good social distancing, we have the power to do that.”

The changes in the extension of the order includes new restrictions including the closure of playgrounds, basketball courts, ball fields and soccer fields in the city’s 120 parks.

“I didn’t want to have to close public areas in our park and was hoping this wouldn’t be necessary,” Fischer said. “But too many people have shown they have yet to grasp the serious nature of this threat and were gathering in crowds in our parks and ignoring social distancing.”

The parks will remain open to walkers, runners and cyclists. He explained golfers can still play on the 10 courses across the city but with restrictions.

Fischer ordered portable toilets in the parks be closed and removed while crews will continue to clean the permanent restrooms that are open. Crews will also pick up the trash and mow the grass.

All dog parks where dogs roam free without a leash are closed but dogs on leashes are still permitted where allowed.

Campgrounds at Jefferson Memorial Forest will also be closed.

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