Coronavirus News: Hoboken closes all parks to prevent spread of COVID-19

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Hoboken officials announced Sunday a two-week closure of all parks in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The closures include all Hoboken and County parks, and all dog parks, beginning Monday at 8 a.m.

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said in a statement that implementing these new regulations was a difficult decision.

"While it may not be popular and will cause further disruptions to our daily lives, closing our parks is necessary to contain the spread of this deadly virus and can literally save the lives of Hoboken residents," Bhalla said.

The mayor said he has seen improvements throughout Hoboken and also in the parks with more residents participating in social distancing.

"It has made a positive difference, and I thank many residents for doing so," he said.

However, Bhalla has also seen residents congregating in the public green spaces, including waterfront parks.

"Those that still congregate put not just themselves at risk, but also everyone in our community," he said.

Bhalla said he has spoken with medical professionals, and they strongly believed closing parks would help contain the spread of the virus in Hoboken and save lives.

"Just last week, I was in Columbus Park playing catch with my eight-year old son, Shabegh," he said. "I know he won't be happy, and I'll do my best to explain the decision to him and his friends. Ultimately, this is a sacrifice we need to make as a community now, in order to protect our residents and most vulnerable populations."

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