City of Oxford closes parks, facilities due to COVID-19 outbreak

Published 12:27 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

Despite area schools extending their spring break, there will not be many places to go and enjoy their newfound free time.

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) hitting Mississippi over the weekend, the City of Oxford has taken precautions and announced the closure of several parks and centers. The announcement was made on Friday.

The Ulysses “Coach” Howell Activity Center and mTrade Park are closed through at least March 27. This includes the cancellation of several tournaments, which were originally scheduled to be played over the coming weekends at mTrade Park.

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“As the City of Oxford addresses the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking every precaution we can to keep our community safe,” the City’s statement read. “The City of Oxford remains very concerned for the health and safety of our citizens and park users. … The situation surrounding the Coronavirus is fluid; therefore, our actions, including future closures, will be as well.”

Both the “Coach” Howell Activity Center and the Oxford Activity Center’s complete facility will be closed to the public during this time.

The order also includes the closures of museums and historic places around Oxford. The L.Q.C. Lamar House, Burns Belfry and Cedar Oaks are closed through March 27.

Other parks and facilities will be open for individual use, but all bathrooms and facilities located at the parks will be closed, and organized uses will not be permitted.

Those parks include: Bailey Branch Park, Avent Park, Garden Terrace Park, Price Hill Park, Rivers Hill Park, Lamar Park, Stone Park, Airport Fields, John Leslie Tennis Complex and Woodlawn Davis Park.

“The decision to close City facilities was an easy one,” the statement continued. “We rely heavily on Federal Agencies, State Agencies, Emergency Management Officials and other local agencies to make decisions that affect our citizens. The recent declaration of National Disaster has also informed our decision.”

The Oxford Park Commission’s Leisure Lifestyles program is canceled through at least April 6 due to the higher threat to the aging community and the enhanced risk to the older population.