All city parks closed as of Tuesday
It’s tough to make decisions during the COVID-19 health crisis.
However, the City of Brazil found it was easier to close down all city parks noon Tuesday in an attempt to follow guidelines issued by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
Mayor Brian Wyndham is doing his best to implement the policies at the local level.
“As the mayor, I am going to follow right to the order what our governor set in place Monday,” said Wyndham, who believes a big part of the reason for the guidelines is to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. “I feel like that is my obligation to the residents. I have this order right in front of me, and we are doing our best to fulfill it.”
Governor Holcomb’s Stay-at-Home Mandate applies to the entire state of Indiana. Unless a person works for an essential business or is doing a necessary activity, they must stay home.
However, state parks are open to allow for outdoor activities to continue for families. The directive orders social distancing must be utilized by all residents in public places, including the parks. Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run, or go on a bike ride, but they have to remain six-feet away from other people.
Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of spreading the virus.
“This is a big change for everyone. This is difficult for everyone as we live a different pace and a different way of life in the coming weeks. It’s going to take us all out of our normal routine, but we need to make adjustments,” said Wyndham, who knows it is difficult for people to understand that in public, even families have to keep six-feet apart. “The order is obvious on social distancing. If we are going to get a handle on this, this is how we are going to do this.”
It’s hard to implement the guidelines when people are not taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously. That is why the city parks (as well as Forest Park Golf Course) were blocked by barricades by Brazil Police Department and closed to residents to help limit use.
“Those who want to walk the track, or along the roads inside the park, they will still be able to do that,” said Park Superintendent Marv Moon, “But the playground and the golf course are not open to the public.”
Wyndham confirmed security would be in the parks to ensure safety, as well as implement proper social distancing is being adhered to by residents in the park.
Clay Community Schools Superintendent Jeff Fritz issued a press release Tuesday afternoon reminding parents that schools, as well as the playgrounds, are closed, and parents are asked to inform their children to stay away.
“This isn’t about whether the parks are open or closed,” said Wyndham. “This about helping to ensure the safety and well-being of the health of our community. To do that, we have to limit social contact, and that’s what this directive says to do. This isn’t about limiting what people want to do; it’s about public safety.”
If people do not follow the social distancing requirements, Wyndham said, in all good consciousness, the parks will be closed.
“It’s a tough decision to make, but we are going to do what’s right to help stop the spread of this disease,” said the mayor. “This is a serious situation, and people have to start following what’s being asked of them to do. We have to make a few sacrifices here. We are all in the same situation. Ask yourself if going out of your homes to do something: Is this essential? If no, then don’t do it. Let us use some common sense here.”