Cleveland Metroparks keeping crowds socially distant as temperatures heat up

Police and residents on the lookout for those not respecting social distancing at local hubs

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Tuesday, the hot weather brought Clevelanders out to Edgewater to enjoy the beach.

Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman said “things are going great today. It looks like a very normal Summer day here at Edgewater. Parking lots are full, theres’s a great flow, our parks have seen over 137% increase in usage, trails usage is up 70%.”

Armi Matiga-Koba was at the beach with his 5-year-old daughter Malaika. He said “we’ve been missing this. We haven’t been out for a while according to what happened all over the world, so we decided to take our chance. But we need to be careful."

He said he’s being cautious and teaching his daughter to socially distance on the beach. “I can’t really go into where a lot of people are crowded together. It seems like things go down and people start getting more comfortable, but seriously the sickness is still there.”

Luba Vorous and her friend, Vicki Lisk, were at the beach for a second day in a row. “Yesterday was awesome. It got a little bit crowded in the afternoon, but by the time we left we had had our full sunshine for the day,” said Luba.

Vicki said “everybody stays on their own little blankets and we’re all in our little pods so it’s perfect.”

Metroparks has signs throughout the park reminding people to spread out and police monitoring for any groups not following proper guidelines.

Zimmerman said “we really want to stay open so crowded parks will lead to closed parks.” He added “our goal is we don’t want to become an epicenter. I think Ohioans have worked very hard at staying safe. Along the way we want to keep people healthy, keep them active, get some vitamin D, which is a wonderful thing and today it’s 80 degrees here at Edgewater and it’s just a great day. It’s busy but not overwhelming.”

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