Government officials are turning to billboards to reinforce social distancing guidelines
As the weather continues to improve during springtime across the Philadelphia region, many are eager to get outside for some much-needed fresh air. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing guidelines—such as bans on all private and public gatherings—and stay-at-home orders remain in place to keep people from further spreading the coronavirus.
Now, government officials are turning to billboards to help promote social distancing as the warm weather arrives in the area.
On Saturday, Philadelphia deployed three trucks with LED billboards across the city that read “We must stay inside to stay together” and “#StayHomePHL.” The trucks, which can be found near parks and public spaces, also include a recorded audio clip of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw encouraging city residents to stay home.
Philadelphia issued a stay-at-home order for city residents on March 23 in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. All public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited, but outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling, and operating a wheelchair are permitted.
Parks, athletic fields, and trails have remained open in Philadelphia during the coronavirus outbreak, but playgrounds, athletic courts, ice rinks, recreation and environmental centers, and park restrooms are closed until further notice. All park events and programs, as well as permitted park events, are canceled or postponed indefinitely.
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania began easing coronavirus restrictions on outdoor recreation activities when it announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, and private campgrounds would reopen on Friday. These sites are required to follow Pennsylvania’s updated guidance for life-sustaining businesses to maintain safe safety.
A review by the state determined that these activities can safely resume while prioritizing public health and safety. At Pennsylvania state parks, campgrounds will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.
Meanwhile, across the Delaware River, New Jersey is also using signs to promote social distancing across the state, albeit in a far more blunt manner. The signs read “Don’t be a knucklehead. Keep a safe distance,” echoing a term that Gov. Phil Murphy frequently uses to describe those who have violated the state’s guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Jersey, like Philadelphia, has also issued a stay-at-home order for its residents and banned both public and private gatherings of all sizes across the state.
State and county parks, as well as golf courses, reopened on Saturday in New Jersey after having been shut down for much of the coronavirus outbreak. Golf courses had been closed since March 30, and both state and county parks had been shut down since April 7 due to the number of gatherings taking place.
Those visiting state and county parks in New Jersey, as well as those teeing it up at golf courses, are required to practice social distancing and are highly encouraged to wear a face mask. Parking is capped at 50 percent, facilities such as playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers, and restrooms will remain closed, and events such as picnics, team sports, and organized activities are prohibited.
Source: Pat Raulph
Picture Source: City of Philadelphia