Allentown is closing its 21 city-maintained playgrounds during the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency effective Tuesday, March 24.
Mayor Ray O’Connell said, “We are trying to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I found in my travels this weekend that our playgrounds are magnets for our residents in contravention of Governor Wolf’s order for people to practice social distancing and not congregate in groups of 10 or more.”
The city’s Dog Park and the Skatepark at Keck Park are also covered by the directive.
The city Parks Department posted signage with CDC Guidance in English and Spanish at all playgrounds ahead of this past weekend but did little to deter crowds.
Playground equipment gates will be locked where possible and caution tape will be used at areas without gates.
“If we are not able to slow the spread in Allentown and Lehigh County, Governor Wolf is likely to extend the stay at home order he imposed in seven counties to our area,” O’Connell added.
Under the governor’s stay at home order residents of those seven effected counties; Allegheny, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Monroe; are asked to stay indoors unless taking trips for life sustaining purchases like food and medicine.