College Park shuts down city parks and playgrounds to combat coronavirus spread

Hollywood Gateway Park. (Elliot Scarangello/The Diamondback)

College Park announced Wednesday that it would close all city parks and playgrounds and ask all “non-essential city staff” to work from home, the latest measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The changes came in response to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s “stay-at-home” order on Monday, according to a city statement. The order bars residents from leaving their homes except for essential reasons, such as buying groceries or medication.

Other activities — such as compost or mulch delivery and pickup, parking enforcement, animal control and the issuance of parking permits — have been “suspended until further notice,” the statement said.

In the statement, city officials reminded residents that all city buildings are currently closed to the public.

But many city services can still be conducted virtually, the statement said. If residents need to pay parking tickets or speed camera citations, they can do so online at any time, or by phone from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Residents can also pay fines for municipal infractions by phone, but cannot use cash, as “[o]nly credit card transactions and checks arriving by mail can be processed at this time,” the statement said.

Services such as police patrol and emergency response, trash and recycling collections and “Seniors Transportation Services for essential trips” will continue, according to the statement. Mayor and council meetings will continue to be held virtually until further notice.

“Through this difficult time, we will work together and get through it,” the statement read.

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