Hudson County mayors say it’s not the right time to open parks amid COVID-19 spread

Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday that state and county parks can reopen this weekend, but some Hudson County mayors say it’s not wise to rush back into the parks just yet.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2020, 9:15 PM

Updated 1,448 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday that state and county parks can reopen this weekend, but some Hudson County mayors say it’s not wise to rush back into the parks just yet. 
"We want you to stay close to home, so if you chose to go to a park, go to one near you," the governor said.
That could be difficult for parts of Hudson County. Most municipal parks were shut weeks ago, and despite the governor allowing state and county parks to reopen this weekend, those in north Hudson, will remain closed for now.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla, of Hoboken, told News 12 that it is “not the right time.”
“The numbers and data don't justify opening municipal parks," he said. 
The mayors of Guttenberg, Hoboken, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and West New York formed a North Hudson Coalition on Parks a few days ago, vowing to make reopening decisions together. The six mayors acknowledge the need for public open spaces, but say their densely populated cities aren't ready to open the gates yet.
"We are trying to be considerate of our neighbors and make sure we don't do anything that has an adverse impact on neighboring municipality and vice versa," says Bhalla. 
The mayors are working with the Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise on a joint a plan to slowly reopen all the parks in Hudson County as soon as it's safe. A final decision is expected on reopening county parks by the end of the week. When they eventually reopen, they say social distancing measures will be in place.
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