If people don’t take social distancing seriously, Mayor Fischer says he will close parks and public spaces

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A quick drive around the Highlands neighborhood Friday night showed examples of great social distancing, but just down the street, or in some cases steps away, there are examples of the continuous problem some of our own neighbors are creating.

For instance, people are continuing to congregate in public parks or use the public tennis courts when they have been closed by the city.

“If people continue to congregate in a way that is not appropriate from a social distancing standpoint, unfortunately I will have to close these public spaces to everyone,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “And this is our test this weekend to see whether or not our enhanced communications have worked.”

Fischer has left parks, golf courses and other recreational spaces open get outside and exercise, but Friday he said that won’t be the case for the future if people do not do their part to stop the spread.

After nearly three weeks of preaching the gravity of this pandemic, Fischer said crowds of people in Louisville are still not listening. This weekend, he said, will be the real test as to whether he needs to take measures to the next level.

“We still get reports of people from all parts of town and all demographics gathering in groups acting like we’re not in the middle of a global crisis,” Fischer said. “I will not hesitate to do that. My number one job is to protect the safety of everyone in our community.”

Pictures of crowds of people that are not six feet apart have been religiously sent to the mayor’s office. They say that needs to stop in order for rules and regulations not to get stricter.

“We’ve been talking about how the next weeks and the next month are absolutely critical to flattening the curve,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

That curve cannot flatten if the virus is given opportunities to infect other people.

“It’s not just having the rules and the regulations in place,” Beshear said. “They don’t do a lot unless we internalize it and we follow it.”

So this weekend, while the sun is shining and it’s the perfect weather to get outside, remember, staying six feet from the strangers around you, will save their lives.

“Everybody has to act like they have the virus,” Fischer said.

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