Coronavirus News: Rockland County parks reopen to the public

ROCKLAND COUNTY (WABC) -- Parks in Rockland County are now reopened to the public.

They have been closed since April 7, for three weeks. The reopenings come after a decline in hospitalization rates throughout the county.

"We closed our Parks three weeks ago to get through what public health experts were calling a critical time to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully we have seen steadily declining hospitalizations due to this disease but we want to take a thoughtful and unified approach to any reopening actions," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said. "I want to acknowledge Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco; we have been working towards a regional approach to this reopening and I was pleased to see NJ Gov. Murphy take action on this today. Additionally, I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his attention to this situation. County Executive Tedesco and I are urging our respective residents to patronize the parks only within their home County. The use of County Parks is intended for County residents only."

Parks will be open for walking or running, however, features such as dog runs, playgrounds, restrooms, fishing areas, and picnic areas will still remain closed for the foreseeable future.

A mask or face covering is recommended for park visitors in addition to social distancing guidelines.

"It is now time to give people the opportunity to get out of the house and go for a walk. The Supervisors and Mayors we spoke with agreed and will be following up by re-opening their parks. If we give people more options, there will be more room for everyone to spread out and enjoy the outdoors while still practicing proper social distancing," Day said.

Anyone not adhering to social distancing guidelines faces a summons of up to $2,000.

The parks will be monitored and violations will be reported to the Sheriff's Office.

The Division of Environmental Resources will not accept any new park permit requests for the foreseeable future. Residents can visit http://rocklandgov.com/departments/environmental-resources/ and the County social media pages for County Park updates.

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