Because of reports coming in that people are not social distancing, a recommendation by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke said that the city is closing its parks and beaches.
“There were several people in cars in the parking lots, there were people on the piers standing shoulder to shoulder, there were groups of people walking through Welwyn together,” said Tenke. “I thought it was necessary at this time, because of the upswing in our area of cases, to try to limit those types of areas where people can congregate.”
According to the Nassau County Dept. of Health, 73 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Glen Cove as of March 29.
Tenke said that if a person still goes to the park, they will be asked by the Glen Cove Police Department to leave. If they go a second time the person could be issued a violation.
“I’m really hoping that people will take this seriously,” Tenke said. “This is for their benefit. I’m not looking to punish people. I’m just trying to prevent this from spreading.”
The Glen Cove Police Department announced the closure of parks and beaches on March 30, asking that residents be responsible and avoid trying to get around gates and fences. Among the parks that will be closed is the Dennis Brian Murray [dog] Park, Morgan Memorial Park, Welwyn Preserve, Mercadante Beach and the Glen Cove Golf Club.
The parks “are closed, are locked,” said Detective Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department. “Hopefully that will be enough to keep people out of the parks and if we do catch anyone in the park we will ask them to leave and hopefully people will use common sense.”
So far, Nagle said people are complying.
Dr. Maria Rianna, the Glen Cove City School District superintendent, was also concerned about people of all ages congregating. “People of all ages need to adhere to social distancing,” Rianna said. “It’s been reported that school-age students, high school and college-ages, have been coming together in parking lots or at people’s home and that is still a dangerous situation in regard to monitoring where they have been and who they come in contact with.”
She added that young people should be cautious because even though they may not be feeling the symptoms, they may be carrying the virus. “I understand this is a very difficult time for everyone but we have a wonderful community that cares for one another tremendously,” she said. “We can [show that] we care with social distancing.”