Greenville closes park, imposes curfew amid coronavirus concerns


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–In addition to state and federal guidelines, some local cities are taking extra precautions when it comes to social distancing. The City of Greenville has closed down a popular park and that’s not all.

Not only is the city putting restrictions on places like Falls Park, but starting Wednesday at 11 p.m., there will also be a curfew in place.

Mayor Knox White said now is the time to take extreme measures, and above all to stay home.

On the average spring day, Falls Park would be bustling around lunch time.

“We always check the park out and we thought we could still do enough social distancing at the park and still get some fresh air,” Jerry Lovingood said.

But, since the city shut the park down, there are just a few people running and walking, including Lovingood and his wife. They’re taking extra precautions.

“Our age, our daughter is getting groceries for us and setting them on the front porch so we’re trying to take all the precautions that have been recommended,” Lovingood said.

He’s glad the city is taking it seriously.

“We just need to do what the authorities tell us to do so we can bend this curve and get this virus situation over with,” Lovingood said.

“That’s why we think now more than ever this is a time for people to stay home,” White said.

That’s why he put a restriction on gathering in public places, including the park and plazas, in the city.

“We looked back at what happened last weekend and we took advantage of that to really dissect where people tended to gather,” White said.

He also imposed a curfew for the downtown area, which goes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“This applies to everyone, including residents of downtown,” White said.

The mayor said with the weather looking nice for the coming weekend, now was the time to act.

“In terms of acceleration we’re right there in the middle if you will which is pretty serious,” White said.

He said at this point everyone needs to work together to flatten the curve.

“I think the next few days in fact will be determining what the acceleration looks like in South Carolina and the Upstate,” White said.

Meanwhile, people like Lovingood remain optimistic about the future.

“I understand that and we’re going to get through this thing ok,” White said.

The city will be keeping a close eye on anyone trying to gather in the park or elsewhere, as well as anyone breaking curfew. You won’t necessarily get a ticket or face charges, but will be asked to go home.

The mayor also says he believes this is a statewide issue. He hopes the governor takes more action, and addressed bars and restaurants across the state, as well as personal services like hairdressers and spas.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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