Well, there goes that shred of happiness.
St. Louis County announced in a release Thursday night that it will close all public parks starting Friday at 8 p.m.
The parks will stay closed until at least April 22, the same day the stay-at-home order will end.
County Executive Sam Page said in the release the closures will help save lives.
“That’s our top priority,” Page said. “I had hoped we could keep the parks open, but the spread of COVID-19 is too big of a threat to the health of our residents.”
City parks will stay open, as long as people maintain social distancing.
“With warmer weather, our parks are becoming more and more crowded,” County Parks Director Tom Ott said in the release. “During this health crisis, we cannot allow large groups of people to be together in one place.”
Webster Groves closed its recreation complex March 13, as well as its skating rink, fitness facilities, courts and conference rooms.
The county will place barricades at park entrances and electronic message boards on the streets leading up to Creve Coeur Lake Park, Jefferson Barracks Park. Lone Elk Park and Grant’s Trail.
The announcement comes two days after Missouri officials restricted access to multiple state parks to discourage groups. Castlewood and Elephant Rocks State Parks were among the parks closed. Forest Park currently has three streets closed to drivers.
Missouri had its first diagnosis of COVID-19 on March 7 in St. Louis County. As of the publication of this article, St. Louis County has confirmed 663 cases of the virus. Six have died.