Henrico County has adjusted the services available at its parks and public-use areas in accordance with Gov. Ralph Northam’s temporary executive order for residents to “stay at home” to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Executive Order 55, issued March 30, directs Virginians to remain at their place of residence except for purposes deemed essential, such as obtaining medical care or governmental services, purchasing groceries and supplies, traveling to work or getting out for exercise. The order further directs the state’s residents using shared or outdoor spaces to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet “at all times.”
The governor’s order is in effect until June 10.
The order has prompted adjustments at the county’s Springfield Road and Charles City Road public-use areas, located at 10600 Fords Country Lane and 2075 Charles City Road, respectively.
Beginning Friday, April 3, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will limit access to 10 vehicles at a time. Henrico Police and DPU staff will direct vehicles into the public-use areas.
DPU urges residents only to dispose of household garbage and household recyclables while the governor’s order is in effect. Vegetative yard waste and household hazardous waste, such as used oil, tires and paints, cannot be accepted at this time. Disposal areas will be arranged to allow at least 6 feet between vehicles.
Solid Waste Division Director Jon Clary noted that residents should anticipate traffic backups and lengthy waits to access the public-use areas, which currently are open on a reduced schedule of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
“We want to accommodate as many customers as we can while recognizing the requirement to limit our services at this time,” Clary said. “We ask our residents to bear with us and follow these new guidelines while the governor’s order is in effect.”
The order also has prompted adjustments at Henrico’s parks. The Division of Recreation and Parks has restricted access to certain outdoor amenities, closing playgrounds, restrooms, shelters, dog parks, tennis courts and pickleball courts at county parks. The affected areas are locked or have signs posted regarding their closure.
The county’s recreation centers were closed March 16.
Recreation and Parks Director Neil Luther noted that some park features remain open, such as trails, fishing ponds and open spaces.
“Henrico’s parks are a valuable outlet and resource for our residents, especially at this time,” Luther said. “We urge everyone who visits our parks to be mindful of the need for social distancing. Please enjoy getting outside while being safe and respectful of others.”
Henrico County Public Schools has closed the playgrounds, ball fields, basketball courts and tennis courts at the district’s facilities in accordance with the governor’s order. Tracks and open spaces on school grounds are still available for public use.
Additional information about the impacts of COVID-19 on Henrico’s facilities and services is available on the county’s coronavirus webpage and from the facilities and services hotline, 501-5655 (voice) and 376-9780 (text). Both lines are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.