Harris County Judge Closes County Parks Good Friday Through Easter

A recent drive-by shows social distancing can be tough to maintain in popular parks.
A recent drive-by shows social distancing can be tough to maintain in popular parks. Photo by Reggie Mathalone
As often as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has mentioned his concerns about people turning out in force at local parks for Easter weekend, it shouldn't come as a complete surprise that today Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she's closing the county's parks from Good Friday through Easter.

“We are at a critical moment in our fight against COVID-19, and we cannot afford to let our guard down,” Hidalgo said in a press release “We’re heartened that the actions we’re taking are already saving as many as 4,500 lives across Harris County. For so many of our residents, Easter and Passover is a time for spiritual fellowship with others, and I want to encourage that to continue at home and online during this critical period. The sooner we come through this together, the faster we’ll be able to return to normalcy and get our economy back up and running again.”

Earlier this week the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department closed all its parks, saying that park employees were just unable to completely monitor visitors to make sure they were keeping to social distancing standards calling for them to be six feet apart.

According to the Harris County press release:

Over the past 48 hours, Judge Hidalgo consulted with a wide array of elected officials regarding the decision, including Harris County Commissioners Cagle, Radack, Garcia, and Ellis. Hidalgo also notified mayors from across the county her intent to shutter county parks through the weekend prior to announcing the move and advised them to close their parks as well.
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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