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'It might save their lives' | Louisville Parks and Rec close playgrounds and courts

A Parks and Rec spokesperson said everyone should assume parks, playgrounds, basketball courts and soccer fields are closed.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Parks and Rec is posting "playgrounds closed until further notice" signs at local playgrounds and courts to stop the coronavirus from spreading. 

Spokesperson Jon Reiter said the order is to make sure groups of 10 or more people are not gathering in large areas.

"Anywhere where that's happening, people need to stop immediately," he said.

Even if a sign is not spotted right away, Reiter said everyone should assume parks, playgrounds, basketball courts and soccer fields are closed.

"We want people to adhere to those wishes because it might save their lives," he said. 

The safety measure was put in place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, but large groups were still spotted at Cherokee Park and Dave Armstrong Extreme Park Wednesday. 

Louisville Parks and Rec operates 180 playgrounds and 120 parks. Reiter admitted the enforcement is going to be challenging with 75 employees monitoring each one. 

"It's a monumental task," he said. "Some [parks] have different levels of access than others and physically closing off access is going to be next to impossible."

The staff will be looking out for groups of 10 or more to enforce the the rule.

"Their regular duties such as mowing and cleaning are kind of taking a back burner," Reiter said. "They’re making sure that this effort is taking place and that they are remaining safe."

Despite the closures people are still encouraged to go for a jog, bike ride with family or bird watching with kids.

"The bottom line is everybody needs to do their part and we need to help people out and keep them safe wherever we can," Reiter said.

If you see groups of 10 people or more gathering at a park or playground and not social distancing at least six feet apart, you can report it by calling Metro311 or emailing metro.311@louisvilleky.gov.

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