GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – During a media briefing Friday afternoon, Greenville Mayor Knox White announced Falls Park and Cancer Survivors Park will reopen at 6:00 a.m. Saturday.
While the parks will reopen, social distancing guidelines remain in place. No groups larger than three are allowed to gather at the park.
Liberty Bridge will remain closed as there is no way to adhere to social distancing in a tight space. Additionally, all of Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville.
Downtown Greenville is moving toward a new normal. With restaurants utilizing outdoor dining and the announcement that Falls Park will reopen this weekend, Mayor Knox White is still urging caution.
“Social distancing is still the overriding, paramount concern. And we want to continue to emphasize the importance of that,” White said.
The mayor also announcing the closure of some parking spots along Main Street so restaurants can utilize the sidewalks and pedestrians can safely social distance.
“We’re trying to be very flexible and very creative and innovative and working with these small business people to make them successful,” White said.
All of these precautions are backed up by science.
“This is still a very very dangerous disease,” Dr. Eric Ossmann with Prisma Health said.
“If you see one person die from a disease, its real,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone with Bon Secours said.
Health experts from both Prisma and Bon Secours urging continued social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks in public.
“We ask that you do your part to help limit the spread. Since we are in a position where it has gone down and we’re starting to basically open everything back up,” Dr Blackstone said.
DHEC announcing its contact tracing webpage is now live and that they are ramping up testing statewide.
Experts there agree that stopping the spread is still of main concern.
“If people keep doing what they’ve been doing that’s the big key for us keeping that curve flat,” Dr. Brannon Traxler with DHEC said.
A reminder that although things may appear to be returning to normal there’s always the potential for a resurgence.
“We’re sort of moving from peak impact of the disease to a period where its more going to be a containment phase,” Dr. Ossmann said.
“If we don’t do our part we could find ourselves taking a step backwards,” Mayor White said.
The mayor says as long as all goes well and people respect guidelines the city will continue a phased reopening.
Local hospitals report the third week of a flattening of the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. DHEC is also working to test even more South Carolinians over the coming months.
The briefing can be seen above in full.