New worries about social distancing emerge as people flock to metro parks and ignore signs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Across the metro, stores are closed, but parks are buzzing with spring time activity.

With the beautiful weather on March 28, crowds caused new and growing concern about social distancing outdoors.

“We were all getting cabin fever being inside all the time, so came out to get some fresh air,” one woman visiting Concourse Park in Kansas City said.

The blue skies and sunshine Saturday made for the perfect recipe. Metro parks were packed despite concerns of COVID-19 and the “stay-at-home” order.

Playground and court areas were recently closed across parts of the metro. There are also new signs alerting people of the playground and court closures. Other parks have taped off play areas.

“I didn’t realize they said that. I thought they said it was alright to come to the park,” one park goer said.

While some people say they were not aware of the new park rules, others say they do not care about the potential threat of the coronavirus.

“Like, it’s a big deal, but not that big of a deal to us. I still take safety precautions. We still wash our hands whenever we go inside,” a teen who came to play basketball said.

Mayor Quinton Lucas shared a video in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department saying in part, “It’s getting warmer outside, but we recognize that we have to confront the coronavirus.”

In the video, he goes on to remind people to follow the rules put in place for their health and safety. He reminds people to not crowd the parks, play on playground or exercising equipment or participate in large organized games.

According to Parks and Rec, at some parks, tennis nets are being removed. Officials with Parks and Rec say they will take additional steps to reinforce safety and the closures if they deem necessary.

The trails and walkways remain open.

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