LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - "If people aren't observing social distancing, shut them down."
The city of Lexington has taken steps to curb large groups meeting at parks by adding new signs asking visitors to limit the number of people on a playground at once. The signs also remind people to keep practice social distancing. (WKYT)
That was part of a strong message from Governor Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, urging Kentuckians to be safe no matter where there are.
That order includes public parks. On Thursday, Beshear urged county judge executives and city mayors across the state to make sure large groups of people are not gathering at parks.
The governor has encouraged people, multiple times, to spend time outdoors, but to do so at a safe, 6 feet away from others.
Viewers reached out to WKYT with concerns of large groups at parks in Lexington and sent videos of crowds on basketball courts.
In Thursday's update, Gov. Beshear showed a picture of three children playing outside and safely space.
"If you're going to go outside, this is how we have to do it," said Beshear about the example. "Notice they are not out on a playground with a bunch of other kids. Notice they are not on a basketball court with a bunch of other kids. If you are going to a park and playing a game of basketball, you are spreading the coronavirus right now."
WKYT went to Jacobson Park on Thursday and saw large crowds.
WKYT talked to Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton about the issue, and she says it concerns her.
"I heard that at one particular park, there were upwards of 100 people, that is not acceptable," said Mayor Gorton. "We've left them open because we want people to have the opportunity to get outside, but we've got to do better on this."
The city has taken steps to curb that trend by adding new signs in every park, asking visitors to limit the number of people on a playground at once. The signs also remind people to keep practice social distancing.
Mayor Gorton said if this continues to be an issue, the city will have to look at taking further steps to ensure people are following the rules.
In Louisville, city officials have gone as far as removing the hoops on basketball goals and tying swings up on poles.
The University of Kentucky has also taken down the basketball hoops outside memorial coliseum in an effort to keep people from gathering in groups.
Gov. Beshear says the steps are necessary.
"If you're out there flaunting the rules, you may be passing something to someone else who goes home and passes it to their parent who works in one of these environments where people are the most vulnerable."