Parks, playgrounds closed in Milwaukee Co. to help enforce social distancing order

NOW: Parks, playgrounds closed in Milwaukee Co. to help enforce social distancing order


MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Friday's warmer temperatures meant more people were outside. 

But the message from city and county officials around COVID-19 is still the same.

Orange fencing, signs and caution tape are some new things residents will see in parks around Milwaukee County.

“Within a pandemic we are taking things very seriously," Milwaukee County Parks Director Guy Smith said.

Signage is also going up in Milwaukee’s 113 playgrounds.

Smith added that other barriers could come, including bilingual yard signs, as leaders work to enforce social distancing guidelines.

“Specifically basketball, tennis, soccer, any team sports are not allowed per the governor’s order," he said.

Picnic areas will also not be open.

“Everyone’s going stir crazy," West Allis resident Thann Dammann said.

In West Allis, public calls led to some playgrounds and the city’s skate park being closed, in the name of safety.

The dwindling number of allowed outdoor activities has some feeling the pressure.

“I get it with everything going on we should probably keep people from gathering like that, but I have like over 30 days off of work now," Dammann added.

“I don’t think they should close down the parks 'cause, you know, people still want to come out," Milwaukee resident Aaron Polen said.

Officials aren’t saying people can’t be out.

But with more than 1,000 positive cases in the county, they say the coronavirus is still a serious threat.

“COVID-19 is twice as contagious as the common flu. COVID-19 is 10 times more deadly," said Dr. Ben Weston, medical director for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

Hiking, walking, running and birding are some examples of what is allowed outside, per social distancing rules.

The County Parks Department is also working to provide at-home experiences like virtual park tours, a squirrel census and printable coloring sheets on its website.

Share this article: