/Omaha World-Herald: Mayor Stothert: Stop crowding in Omaha parks, or the city will close them

Omaha World-Herald: Mayor Stothert: Stop crowding in Omaha parks, or the city will close them

Spread out in Omaha city parks, or risk their closure.

Mayor Jean Stothert and other public officials on Friday announced additional restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At a wide-ranging press conference, Stothert admonished parkgoers to stop gathering in large groups, specifically mentioning crowding problems last weekend at Standing Bear Lake, Zorinsky Lake, Flanagan Lake, Levi Carter Park and Walnut Grove Park, which were full of people because of nice spring weather.

At Levi Carter, which is near Carter Lake, an estimated 1,000 people gathered over the weekend, she said. A social media post was also floating around telling people to come party at the park, which blatantly disregards the county’s health orders, she said.

The City of Omaha has 260 parks and plenty of space to enjoy them, but people must keep a safe 6-foot distance from others, Stothert said.

“We know that social distancing works. We know that limiting crowds works,” she said. “We are asking you to comply, or we will shut it down.”

This weekend, Omaha police officers will be monitoring crowds and can shut down the park the next day if there are problems. Currently, all parks, including dog parks, are still open.

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