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Decatur tries to enforce social distancing in parks due to COVID-19 pandemic

Avondale Estates Business COVID-19 Crime and public safety Decatur Food Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL Tucker

Decatur tries to enforce social distancing in parks due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Photo by Dean Hesse.


Decatur, GA – Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, March 23, declined to issue a statewide shelter in place order, leaving the job of enforcing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic to local leaders who have taken different paths.

That’s left Decatur with the task of keeping people separated while keeping its public parks open.

Avondale Estates closed playground equipment in public parks and prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people in public spaces. DeKalb County also has temporarily closed facilities, playgrounds and suspended programming.

“Due to the current public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, DeKalb Parks has temporarily closed the Sugar Creek Golf and Tennis Center, the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, and playgrounds and fitness stations,” the county announced. “All year-round recreation programming, rentals, group gatherings and organized athletic events have been suspended until further notice. All parks and trails will remain open to the public and patrons are encouraged to practice social distancing protocols for the safety of DeKalb’s communities.”

The county provided additional information about its recreation centers, which are serving as a lifeline to students who need to pick up snacks.

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All DeKalb County recreation centers will remain open as a resource for students to pick up snacks from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:

– Gresham Recreation Center, 3113 Gresham Road, Atlanta, GA 30316

– Exchange Intergenerational Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30034

– Redan Recreation Center, 1839 Phillips Rd., Lithonia, GA 30058

– Tobie Grant Recreation Center, 644 Parkdale Drive, Scottdale, GA 30079

– H. Scott Recreation Center, 2230 Tilson Road, Decatur, GA 30032

– Lucious Sanders Recreation Center, 2484 Bruce Street, Lithonia, GA 30058

– Mason Mill Recreation Center, 1340- B McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA 30033

– Hamilton Recreation Center, 3263 Chapel Street, Scottdale, GA 30079

– Midway Recreation Center, 3181 Midway Road, Decatur, GA 30032

Public parks in the city of Decatur remain open, for now. But Mayor Patti Garrett encouraged people using them to practice social distancing. If they don’t, they could be asked to leave.

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Here is her full announcement:

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Public Parks in the City of Decatur remain open. Adherence to the following guidelines is imperative to protect the safety and health of our community during this public health emergency:

– If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, and avoid public parks and other public spaces.

– Adhere to social distancing requirements and remain 6 feet away from others or you may be asked to leave the park.

– Do not engage in contact sports or games, such as playground soccer, basketball, etc.

– Bring hand sanitizer as bathrooms may be closed.

– Bring water as water fountains are temporarily unavailable.

– The playgrounds are closed.

Exercise provides much needed stress relief. Walking, running, skateboarding or cycling can be done while still maintaining a safe 6-feet of distance from others. Thank you for continuing to do your part in ensuring our community remains as safe as possible during this time.

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