Lexington parks begin closing down areas to promote social distancing

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LEXINGTON, KY. (WKYT) – Lexington now has 44 cases of COVID-19, including one death. Unfortunately, city leaders expect those numbers to increase.

High impact sports areas like athletic courts, fields, and skate parks are among areas being shut down. (Photo: WKYT/Chelsea Jones)

At a press briefing Friday afternoon, Mayor Linda Gorton said people need to do a better job of practicing social distancing, and that will mean some changes at city parks.

With warm weather, plenty of people want to get outside, but Mayor Gorton says when too many people start to gather that’s when it becomes a problem.

“This is absolutely disappointing and is endangering lives. It’s been warm and sunny outside and naturally, people want to all get outside. It’s okay to go outside, but each of us must stay six feet apart." she said.

To maintain social distancing, the city is making some operational changes.

Friday morning, workers started removing select tennis nets, volleyball nets, and socking some larger tennis areas.

Alex Pennington went to Woodland Park to roller blade before it closed. He said he wasn't aware of what Mayor Gorton had said about people gathering in large groups in Lexington parks.

"I’m sitting here on this structure, which, somebody else could be here, so ultimately I don’t know if that’s fully responsible or not," he said.

A group of friends went to play basketball at Shillito Park, but were surprised to see the hoops had been removed.

“They’re taking this real seriously now, they mean what they say by staying in," said Jaheim Mullins.

Natural areas like McConnell Springs and Raven Run, as well as all golf courses, will close this evening.

High impact sports areas are also now closed, including athletic courts, fields, and skate parks.