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Governor Shuts Down New York City Playgrounds, Basketball Courts

L/CPL Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Playground (Parks Dept. file photo)

April 1, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Governor Andrew Cuomo will shut down all New York City playgrounds to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, he announced today.

The order comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio resisted a mass closure and opted to shut down specific playgrounds where social distancing was not being observed.

However, at a press briefing in Albany today, Cuomo said people weren’t adhering to the social distancing rules and “more dramatic actions” were needed. He is closing all playgrounds, swing sets, basketball courts and similar spaces.

“We agreed initially with the mayor that we would try compliance and the mayor was going to try to use the NYPD to enforce compliance, social distancing, in playgrounds,” Cuomo said. “It is still a problem.”

Shutting down all playgrounds throughout the city is a necessary step to slow the spread and flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, Cuomo said.

“I’ve talked about this for weeks, I warned people that if they didn’t stop the density and the games in the playground — you can’t play basketball, you can’t come in contact with each other — that we would close the playgrounds.”

De Blasio had already shuttered 10 city playgrounds — including Mauro Playground at Flushing Meadows Corona Park — where compliance was low. The city also removed basketball hoops from 80 court throughout the five boroughs last week.

Open spaces inside city parks will remain open, Cuomo said.

He didn’t specify a date of when the playgrounds will be shuttered.

State-run playgrounds were closed to the public on March 21.

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12 Comments

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Bill Manning

The Mayor and the Governor should shut down the yeshivas& synagogues in Bklyn and Monroe Ny.

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Gardens Watcher

Citywide playgrounds must be closed by day’s end Thursday. Why wait another day and tie up cops babysitting the playgrounds?

That just gives the Mayor one last chance on the swing set.

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Gardens Watcher

This is long overdue, but glad the playgrounds are finally shut down.

Today was a warmer, sunny day. More people were out today versus the past few cold, rainy days. Somebody should be tracking the weather to see how it affects the curve.

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Brutus

Good thing Cuomo closed the playgrounds… Considering he released level 3 sex offenders from jail!! Seek for yourself. These libs never stop surprising me.

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Mima

Landlords have expenses too you know, who’s going to pay them? Stop wanting everything for free…

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Henry

Great social distancing concerned neighbors. IMHO he has waited waaay too long to shut them down.

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Gina

The Italians I know say don’t even go out for the solitary bike ride or walk. It is not just people it is in the environment. Its very bleak.

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Why transit should remain open?

Essential workers need to get to work. People working at hospitals need to get to work. Normal non essential workers need to stay indoors and out it the subway.

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Dave

Cuomo and DeBlasio should just lockdown the city at this point. France and Italy placed all residents under quarantine for quite some time now, with fines and arrests if you leave your house, and their overall cases have slowed down dramatically. They’re looking at about 100 cases per day while we’re looking at 3,000 cases per day. The governors question why cases are doubling so quickly yet subways still running, parks still open, etc. FLATTEN THE CURVE!!

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Catalin

Close the subways and buses already! #CancelRent should be for all of NYC! No one I know is paying. Save your money for food!!

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Jay

Neighborhoods are overcrowded, people live in small apartments. Cops do not want to argue with certain teens or young adults of a particular demographic about social distancing fearing they will lose their jobs if things get out of hand. Makes sense to close them.

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