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For Immediate Release
News Date: November 20, 2020

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Focuses on Essential Services as the City Works to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus

 

Contact:
Sophia Fifner, Columbus Recreation and Parks, 614-266-9198 (cell)
Kerry Francis, Columbus Recreation and Parks, 740-504-5892 (cell)

 

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Recreation and Parks Department continues to focus on serving residents during the pandemic. With the recent surge in cases in Columbus, the department is shifting its focus to ensure residents’ essential needs are met while promoting social distancing to slow community spread.

For the next month, Columbus Recreation and Parks will focus on essential services including:

  • Ensuring residents have access to fresh produce via free mobile produce markets. The produce markets will continue through Dec. 18. Visit golunch.club/ or visit the department’s social media channels for a current schedule.
  • Supporting connectivity during the holiday season via mobile Thanksgiving meals. With the support of the American Electric Power Foundation, Boar’s Head and Mid-Ohio Food Collective, the department is distributing 3,000 hot Thanksgiving meals at community centers with the highest need.
  • Enhancing core educational services at community centers, including Active Learning Sites and Capital Kids programming. All participants must register in advance; for more information, visit columbus.gov/recparkscovid19/.

While community center access is limited to registered participants and staff, center staff are available during center hours to help residents connect with needed support. Residents who need referrals to essential social services are encouraged to call their local community center.

Parks and trails continue to serve as a safe and accessible way for residents to get outdoors. Although the weather is getting chilly, it is important residents follow all safety protocols – practice social distancing, clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer and stay home if you’re not feeling well.

“It will take all of us to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It’s important that we continue to balance offering essential services with reducing community spread,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “I’m grateful Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is able to maintain access to vital resources safely.”   

To allow for this focus, certain non-essential programming and facilities will be temporarily unavailable, including some recreational activities, sports leagues and fitness rooms, as well as the Columbus Aquatics Center and the Cultural Arts Center.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of residents and our staff,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks. “Focusing on essential services will allow us to help ensure residents’ needs are met and keep our community healthy by doing our part to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.”

For additional information about COVID-19, visit Columbus Public HealthOhio Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, Ohio residents with specific questions related to COVID-19 can also call 833-4-ASK-ODH (833-427-5634). For a full list of department-related updates and closures, visit www.columbus.gov/recreationandparks/