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MEDIA RELEASE
News Date: April 10, 2020

Residents urged to stay safe, live smart to stay healthy and keep Columbus’ parks and trails safe

COLUMBUS, OH – Visiting Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s trails and parks are a great way to maintain your physical and mental health, but it is important to Play Safe, Live Smart and take steps to use them safely.

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s trails and parks currently are open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Our trails and parks are a resource to help residents enjoy the outdoors while engaging in recreation, exercise and education. 

“In these times of great disruption, the health and safety of our residents is key. We have the ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 by rigorously practicing social distancing,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Encouraging residents to use our trails and parks in a safe way helps prevent exposure and maintains access to these important resources.”

As the City of Columbus takes steps to protect residents and stop the spread of COVID-19, City leaders have carefully weighed the benefits and risks to public health of keeping facilities open.  At this time, the City is committed to keeping parks and trails open as long as it remains safe to do so. 

While most residents are practicing social distancing at Columbus’ trails and parks, there are some areas where people are not doing as good of a job, including Antrim Park and the Olentangy Trail.

Play Safe, Live Smart: Practicing Social Distancing at Columbus Trails and Parks

Here are some tips to practice social distancing at Columbus’ trails and parks:

 - Do visit parks and trails with your immediate family and those with whom you are staying at home. 
 - Do take advantage of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors for recreation, exercise and education.
 - Do pay attention to signage and barriers that restrict access to equipment, such as playgrounds, tennis courts, disc golf courses and basketball courts. 
 - Do maintain a 6-foot distance from others when walking, running and biking. You can do this by letting people know you are passing when you come up from behind, and safely stepping off the path to let others pass. 
 - Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
 - Do not step over or remove any barriers that block access to equipment, facilities and parking lots.
 - Do not play group sports using shared equipment, such as basketball, disc golf and tennis. 
 - Do not use any equipment such as picnic tables, playgrounds, and basketball, disc golf and tennis courts. Currently, all recreation equipment is closed.

For additional information about COVID-19, visit Columbus Public Health, Ohio 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/