Hillsborough to Lock Gates and Restrooms at Parks Starting March 17 to Slow Virus Spread
Updated at 4:05 p.m. March 19, 2020: This version provides additional clarification on the status of parks and updates the art to include the clarification and the new hours of the Orange County call center.
Updated at 5:28 p.m. March 18, 2020: This version includes an updated proclamation in the related documents section.
Updated at 5:25 p.m. March 17, 2020: This version includes information clarifying use of town public spaces.
The Town of Hillsborough keep gates and restrooms of town parks locked beginning March 17 to encourage social distancing and to prioritize staff time as it takes further actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gates and restrooms at town recreation facilities will remain locked after today until further notice. Town greenways and trails will remain available for use for now. A listing of town-maintained parks and greenways is available on the Recreation Facilities page.
The community is asked to stay off of play equipment because these play areas are not sanitized and are bringing people into distances that are too close. Organized games that bring people close together on open spaces also are discouraged. Those who access the town's trails and would like to use the dog park are asked to limit use of the dog park to one household at a time to adhere to social distancing recommendations from health officials.
“We don’t take the decision to limit access to any of our public spaces lightly, but discouraging opportunities for people to gather in groups especially seems like the most responsible choice,” Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important social distancing is to slowing the rate of contagion. We are very fortunate to have Riverwalk and other trails where the community can get out, enjoy the fresh air, and keep a safe distance from each other.”
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was deemed a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization. The respiratory disease is spread mainly from person-to-person contact within about 6 feet, and there is currently no vaccine. Local, state and national health officials urge:
- Keeping a distance of 6 to 8 feet from others.
- Washing hands frequently with soap and hot water.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Avoiding crowded places.
- Limiting activities in public.
Orange County will open a call center regarding the virus at 8 a.m. tomorrow, March 17. Call 919-245-6111 Monday-Friday. To receive a daily text message update on COVID-19 for the county, text 888777 and put OCNCHEALTH in the message for English or OCNCSALUD for Spanish. For resources and additional information, see the Orange County Health Department’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.
Please share this information with others who may not be connected to online information or tuned in to news outlets. For information and advice on the virus, please use and share reliable sources in addition to the Orange County Health Department:
State of emergency
The town declared a state of emergency at noon Friday, March 13, to respond to the pandemic and to safeguard the health of the community and employees. In part, the declaration:
- Closes town offices to the public, with staff working in offices and remotely. Contact us by phone or email.
- Temporarily suspends water service disconnections for nonpayment of bills. Please note this does not reduce the amount owed. We anticipate more customers than usual will struggle to pay their water and sewer bills. If you are able, please consider making a donation to the Water Assistance Program.
- Encourages payment of water and sewer bills online or by phone: www.municipalonlinepayments.com/hillsboroughnc or 833-262-5902 toll-free 24 hours a day.