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City officials monitoring use of parks this weekend

Charlottesville is closely monitoring the use of city Parks and Recreation facilities this weekend, and will consider closing them if too many people are gathering, according to a news release.

According to the city, more than 75 people were observed last weekend at the Charlottesville Skate Park at one time.

If gatherings of more than 25 people are observed on public property this weekend, the city said in a news release that it will consider closing access to the parks outdoor facilities — like park shelters, basketball courts and the skate park — entirely until the city’s COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency is lifted.

“The nature of such activity makes social distancing difficult and many participants were observed without face coverings,” the city said in the release. “Increased supervision and enforcement of the city’s COVID-19 ordinance would lead to city employees being placed at an even greater risk during a critical stage in the pandemic.”

The city is asking community members to only use city facilities in safe numbers and take the precautions of social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.

On Monday at its meeting, City Council is scheduled to update the city’s COVID-19 ordinance so that it matches Governor Ralph Northam’s amended executive order.

The city enacted a COVID-19 ordinance on July 27 and reauthorized it on Sept. 21.

A violation of the city’s ordinance is punishable as a Class 3 Misdemeanor or Class 4 Misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500. Any gathering of more than 25 individuals in Charlottesville is subject to the ordinance’s provisions including potential criminal charges.


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