Government officials warn abuse of open spaces could force closures | KOB 4

Government officials warn abuse of open spaces could force closures

Ryan Laughlin
Created: March 30, 2020 09:59 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Closures of restaurants, theaters and large gatherings are encouraging more people to turn to outdoor recreation.

"We've been coming everyday for the past few days," said Chase Blackwood, who was hiking in the Albuquerque foothills.

New Mexico government at the state, county and city level have made restrictions to try and limit person-to-person contact.

Hiker Aabis Rizvi said he’s noticed the increase in crowds.

"The mountain has been pretty packed though, more than usual,” Rizvi said.

A spokesperson for the governor said packed parking lots at trailheads or open spaces is not good practice for social distancing and could potential lead to the spread COVID-19.

"And if you can't do it on your own, believe me, eventually the state, or the county, or the city we will all get together and help you make those decisions," said Tom Thorpe, Bernalillo County spokesperson. "And we don't want to do that."

Last week Albuquerque and Bernalillo County shut down playgrounds.

Thorpe said he's not aware of any plans to close trails or open spaces, but that could change if those areas become a problem.

"We don't want it so stringent that people can't live their lives and enjoy a walk with their family, but we do want them to take the necessary precautions," he said.

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