Warm weather brings large groups outside; health officials encourage social distancing

Warm weather Wednesday evening brought large numbers of people outside to walk, jog, bike, skateboard, sit on benches, spend time with their dogs and play games on their cell phones.

Today’s weather will bring more out, but city and health officials are reminding people that they should be practicing social distancing when outside.

Most people at RiverScape MetroPark and a few other parks around the city were in pairs or small groups, with some exceptions.

Ohio’s stay-at-home order prohibits most gatherings of more than 10 people and directs the closure of playgrounds.

Groups of 40 or more gathered at multiple playgrounds and basketball courts in Dayton, and visitors were not practicing social distancing measures.

At a basketball court on West Third Street, young people were lined up shoulder to shoulder on benches to watch others play hoops.

State officials have warned that some Ohioans are not taking the coronavirus crisis serious.

City of Dayton parks have remained open, but the playgrounds and courts are closed, and notice has been posted on social media pages and other websites, said Toni Bankston, city spokeswoman.

City staff and police who notice people on the playgrounds or large gatherings will enforce the governor’s order, she said.

But the city does not have the resources to monitor the playgrounds and courts full time, Bankston said.

“Additionally, we are asking citizens to self-regulate and heed the Governor’s order,” she said.

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