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Kew Gardens Hills Playground Ordered Shut, Parkgoers Fail to Observe Social Distancing Requirements

Mauro Playground (Parks Dept.)

April 1, 2020 By Christian Murray

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that a Kew Gardens Hills playground is one of 10 throughout the city that has been shut down due to a lack of social distancing.

Mauro Playground, located within Flushing Meadows Corona Park at Park Drive East and 73rd Terrace, was closed March 31 due to a “consistent lack of social distancing with children’s play equipment,” according to the Mayor’s office.

The playground was the only one in Queens to be shut down for not complying with the city’s requirement of social distancing at playgrounds.

Four playgrounds in Brooklyn, one in the Bronx, two in Staten Island, and two in Manhattan were also closed yesterday for similar reasons.

The mayor has kept city parks and playgrounds open despite Governor Andrew Cuomo complaining in mid-March that New Yorkers were not observing social distancing requirements—noting that some residents were even playing basketball.

The mayor has since clamped down on games and ordered the NYPD to separate groups congregating. He has warned residents that he will close them down if they don’t follow the rules.

“If people do not follow the rules we will continue to shut them down aggressively,” de Blasio said yesterday.

Eighty basketball courts across the city have already had hoops or rims removed. All gatherings have been banned. In the city, the NYPD is now enforcing social distancing with fines up to $500, the mayor says.

“Overwhelmingly, we’re seeing compliance in parks and playgrounds,” he said yesterday, although he noted that there are “some real problem spots, too.”

The following playgrounds have been shut down.

• Queens: Mauro Playground
• Staten Island: Clove Lakes Park (2 playgrounds)
• Brooklyn: Middleton Playground; Fort Greene Park (2 playgrounds); Brighton Playground
• Bronx: Watson Gleason Playground
• Manhattan: Fort Tryon – Jacob Javits Playground; Raoul Wallenberg Playground

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