Charlottesville may close access to city park facilities due to large gatherings

Charlottesville may close access to city park facilities due to large gatherings

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville says it is closely monitoring the use of parks and other facilities as the coronavirus continues to spread in the city.

Charlottesville Director of Communications Brian Wheeler sent out a news alert Friday, December 4, stating that more than 75 people gathered at the Skate Park last weekend and that many people weren’t wearing face masks.

“We’re concerned when we have large gatherings of people during a pandemic. We know they’re outdoors, but they’re in close proximity and that’s a concern for us moving forward,” Wheeler said. “If we continue to see groups of more than 25, then city staff are going to have to give some further thought to whether we close the facility entirely.”

The news alert says folks should only use city facilities in safe numbers and only by taking the precautions of social distancing, as well as the wearing of face coverings.

Charlottesville remains under the Declaration of Emergency declared on March 12. City Council also enacted a COVID-19 ordinance on July 27, which established additional regulations related to in-person gatherings, face coverings, and occupancy limits approved to control the spread of the virus.

Charlottesville City Council is expected to review the city’s COVID-19 ordinance during its meeting Monday, December 7, so that it syncs-up with Governor Ralph Northam’s order limiting private and public in-person gatherings to 25. A violation of the ordinance is punishable as a Class 3 Misdemeanor or Class 4 Misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500.

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