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Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced Wednesday that all city parks will be closed Easter weekend, April 11-12, in the name of COVID-19 safety.

“In this COVID-19 environment, it would be very dangerous to keep them open.” — Mayor Lee Brand

Brand called it “an extremely difficult decision.”

Traditionally, Roeding Park and Woodward Park, two city-operated regional parks, draw huge crowds of families and friends celebrating the holiday.

“In this COVID-19 environment, it would be very dangerous to keep them open,” Brand said.

The parks will reopen Monday, April 13.

Brand said code enforcement and “maybe” private security would enforce the closures. He prefers enforcers just sending people home rather than issue any citations or arrests.

Brand Will Have “Smallest” Personal Easter Gathering

Once again, Brand made the announcement from the driveway of his northeast Fresno home. He did so to practice what he is preaching — staying at home during the pandemic.

“Being home all day can make you stir crazy, I know that. I try to make as few trips as possible. I’ve got to lead by example,” Brand said.

For his own Easter celebration, Brand will stay at home and celebrate with his wife, and maybe one of his adult children.

He says it will be the smallest Easter gathering he’s had in 40 years.

Fresnans Heeding Shelter-In-Place Order

“Being home all day can make you stir crazy, I know that. I try to make as few trips as possible. I’ve got to lead by example.”Mayor Lee Brand 

Brand said Fresnans have done a good job with the shelter-in-place order.

“The better job we do now containing the spread of COVID-19, the faster we can recover, and the faster we can return to our normal lives,” Brand said.

Last week, Brand extended the shelter-in-place order — set to expire on March 31 — until April 12.

Brand is expecting a surge of COVID-19 cases.

“While we are physically apart in keeping our distance, in our hearts we have never been more united,” Brand said.

City Closed Playgrounds Tuesday

Tuesday, the city closed down playgrounds in the name of safety. While parks and trails remain open, the parking lots are closed.

The city followed a recommendation of the National Parks and Recreation Association, a nonprofit group.

The playgrounds will be “wrapped protectively where feasible.”

According to the latest numbers from Fresno County Public Health, 68 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with no deaths reported.

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