Playing it safe when visiting local parks

The new rules and restrictions
Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 08:04:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Many of us have cabin fever and are craving fresh air. Before you do, county officials have some reminders about how to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We just came down to have lunch and overlook the city. I go for walks every morning, but still, I like to get out, I don’t like to sit home," said Larry Frank of Springville.

He and his wife kept a distance from others at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, heeding the warnings of Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard.

“Although people are encouraged to enjoy the wonders of Western New York, they should use common sense, be prepared, and be cautious,” said Sheriff Howard."

He has a few tips for park goers:

  • Stay on designated paths
  • Go with a partner
  • maintain social distancing and don't gather in large groups
  • Wear proper footwear and clothing
  • Tell someone about your plans and when you will be home

While Chestnut Ridge was quieter than usual, Delaware Park was full of people enjoying the nice day.

"It has been so packed. Which is great on the one hand, but social distancing is an issue too,” said MaryJo Gervase of Buffalo.

The City of Buffalo is sending similar warnings to park-goers. They're encouraging people to enjoy parks passively. This means no playgrounds or activities, but people can still run, walk or bike, as long as they keep a safe social distance.

"Outside is better than inside. A lot more air volume to disperse the virus in exercise is good and we're all getting a bit antsy inside. So I think that's a great idea to take those walks to make sure you maintain your distance from others," said Dr. Thomas Russo, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

The city also suggests you keep groups small and avoid lingering.

“People are less likely to be closer to another and all that stuff, but there’s still a sense of community,” said Tylor Muscarella.