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RIDGWAY — At the daily meeting of Ridgway Borough’s COVID-19 task force March 27, it was reported Elk County remained free of any confirmed cases at that time.

The borough feels it must remain diligent in its efforts to avoid the spread of this disease, including discouraging the public congregating in Ridgway Borough parks, playgrounds or other open spaces, a spokesman said.

The Borough so far has refrained from prohibiting access to parks and playgrounds based on confidence in the good judgment of parents and children to follow social distancing directives, said the spokesman. It also believes access to open spaces is important, especially for those who lack a great deal of interior or yard space at home.

The Borough says citizens can continue to access state parks and forests, but are asked to practice social distancing while doing so. Similarly, even municipalities with very strict lockdowns are allowing residents to be outside for exercise. In those cases, however, people are asked to avoid congregating.

This balance becomes difficult as weather warms up and more people seek activities outdoors. Please continue to refrain from congregating until the threat of COVID-19 passes. The Borough is also telling residents it cannot regularly disinfect playground and other park equipment, said the spokesman.

Residents have asked if it is appropriate to go for a hike or a jog or take their dog for a walk. The answer is “Yes,” the spokesman said. But group gatherings or games of basketball run counter to the community’s efforts to combat this crisis.

If it becomes clear to officials that residents are not abiding by social distancing guidelines in Borough parks and other open spaces, it might be necessary to reconsider the decision to keep parks open, the spokesman said.

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