Coronavirus: Spacing issue determines dog park closures in City of Knoxville, Knox County

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County is switching to passive use for parks, but keeping dog parks open. Meanwhile, the city closed basketball and tennis courts earlier in the week – but decided to close dog parks starting Saturday, April 4.

In both circumstances, the size of the park itself was the determining factor.

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“We realize it’s a smaller space so we’re trying to do our part and keep less than 10 people in a gathering spot,” City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director Sheryl Ely said. “We realize our dog parks are really busy, we’ve seen a lot of that and we have a lot of calls and concerns. So we just want to make sure we’re doing our part in all of that. The other thing is we want to go with the recommendation that the governor had in place.”

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In a statement given to WATE 6 On Your Side regarding Knox County’s decision to keep dog parks open, Knox County interim Director of Communications Mike Donila said:

“Knox County is fortunate to have dog parks with lots of space. As with use of any Knox County park facilities, we encourage everyone to follow physical distancing guidelines and make responsible choices.”

The City of Knoxville has no date in mind as to when dog parks will reopen.

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