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People flock to parks in Northeast Ohio amid COVID-19 pandemic

Social distancing should be practiced outdoors too
Posted at 8:23 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 21:14:38-04

CLEVELAND — The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and after nearly two weeks of Ohio's stay at home order issued by Governor Mike DeWine, people have taken to stretching their legs at area parks.

Both the Summit County Metro Parks and the Cleveland Metroparks report a record number of visitors this spring at area parks.

But even if you are outside, state leaders said you must stay six feet away from other people, because you can still spread or get the disease outdoors.

"If you pull into a parking lot and see it’s full or even busy. It’s best to go to another park. We have 16 parks, 14,000 acres,” said Stephanie Walton, Summit County Metro Parks Chief of Marketing and Communications.

Cleveland Metroparks has 18 park reservations across the area. Because of COVID-19, the park as taken steps to ensure people are not gathering, including the closure of pavilions and playgrounds.

“We’re doing everything to keep the general public safe, but we need their help as well,” said Brian Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer Cleveland Metroparks.

Zimmerman said he was in the parks all week and people are social distancing in the parks.

If people don't follow social distancing in the parks, rangers will cite people, according to Zimmerman.