Coronavirus News: 6 North Hudson, NJ mayors collaborate on parks reopening plan

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Six mayors in North Hudson, New Jersey will collaborate and decide together when their city parks should reopen.

The collaboration includes Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez of West New York, Mayor Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen, Mayor Brian P. Stack of Union City, Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken and Mayor Wayne Zitt of Guttenberg.

When all six municipalities jointly agree that it is safe to do so and the data justifies it, the eventual reopening of parks will occur incrementally and in unison.

The mayors feel this is the best way to protect the health and safety of residents and help prevent overcrowding in any one city's parks.

Governor Phil Murphy has left the decision of re-opening municipal parks to local municipalities, which facilitated this agreement between the mayors.

The six mayors released a joint statement saying:

"As we consider an eventual re-opening of our municipal parks, we do so knowing that north Hudson County is perhaps the most densely populated region in the nation," said the North Hudson Mayors. "With this in mind, it is absolutely critical for us, as mayors, to work together to ensure that any reopening of parks is driven by science and data and protects the health and safety of our residents. Acting as one collaborative group in our approach ensures that no park is unintentionally attracting additional residents of surrounding municipalities due to conflicting rules and regulations. This will allow our cities to take a cautious and deliberative approach that prevents the unintended spread of COVID-19, while promoting social distancing to the greatest extent possible. We know how difficult it has been without access to our parks and recognize the importance of getting fresh air as the weather gets nicer. While our parks remain closed until further notice, we look forward to working together to implement a gradual re-opening, when it is safe to do so, that prioritizes the health of our residents."

All municipal and county parks in the six municipalities remain closed for the rest of this week.

The six mayors agreed that all playgrounds would remain closed until further notice and stay closed until the last stage of a park reopening plan.

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