News Release - City Playgrounds, Outdoor Fitness Equipment and Athletic Fields, including Basketball and Tennis Courts are Closed in Response to the NYS PAUSE Order

City of Rochester

News Release

Coronavirus Can Live On Hard Surfaces, Such As Steel and Plastic, for 72 Hours

Residents Must Protect Themselves, Others by Following These Closures

(Friday, March 27, 2020) – In response to Governor Cuomo’s NYS PAUSE executive order, all City of Rochester playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and athletic fields, including basketball and tennis courts, are closed until further notice. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can live on the hard surfaces (plastic and steel) of the city’s playground and fitness equipment for up to 72 hours according to recent studies. In addition, the close contact involved in pickup sports violates the advice of medical professionals, including the County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza. There has been significant use of the City’s playground and fitness equipment, as well as, athletic facilities despite the executive order regarding social distancing.

“Keeping people safe and limiting the spread of this virus is my top priority,” said Mayor Warren. “I understand how difficult it is to keep kids entertained and how hard it is to be cooped up at home. But, this virus lives on hard surfaces. Your kids and loved ones can get sick from being on the same playground as someone who has the virus and was playing there three days ago. You or your child can bring the virus home. We all need to be smarter and safer.”

The City will temporarily remove playground, fitness and athletic equipment, where possible, to further encourage social distancing.

Unfortunately, many pickup games have continued on City courts and fields despite numerous announcements about the need for social distancing. Therefore, all athletic fields, as well as basketball and tennis courts, are being closed to help people who are refusing to make the right decisions to protect them and others.

“No one is invincible,” the Mayor continued. “I understand that many people, young and old, think that they won’t get this virus, or they won’t get seriously sick. Simply put, if you think you can’t get sick, that you can’t die from this virus, you are wrong. You can get sick. You can and will make others sick, including people you love. Stop playing ball and working out on our courts. They are closed. I will be the first one out there when they reopen. But, for now, stay safe and stay home.”

Governor Cuomo, upon the advice of medical community, issued the NYS Pause executive order to protect New Yorkers and help “flatten the curve.” The actions announced by the Mayor today are to ensure city residents are doing all we can to comply and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community.

City Parks remain open for passive recreation (walking, hiking, etc.). The dog park at Cobbs Hill remains open for now. Residents are reminded to practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet apart.


News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Justin Roj at (585) 428-7405.